NIGERIA – Quadloop, a Nigerian-based start-up, uses electronic waste as raw materials to manufacture solar lanterns and other products which will have a lower impact on the environment.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nigeria produced 16,900 tons of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) between 2015 and 2016.
It is against this backdrop that Lagos-based start-up Quadloop has embarked on manufacturing solar lanterns through the recycling of lithium batteries from old computers and cell phones.
“We discovered a market for locally made electrical products, but for which the components were not available in the country,” said Dozie Igweilo, the founder of Quadloop.
“At that point, we noticed that if we take advantage of electronic waste, we will reduce the cost of production as well as the cost at the point of sale.”
The company aims to source 70% of its materials from electronic waste. Quadloop recycles lithium batteries from dumped old laptops for its solar lanterns.
These lights are then marketed to small local businesses and hairdressers who use them to reduce their energy consumption at night or as an alternative to power cuts, Igweilo added.
Other initiatives are also underway in Nigeria to reduce the proliferation of electronic waste in nature.
This is the case of a project to recycle one million used devices launched in the second half of 2022 by the British telecommunications operator Vodafone as part of its eco-friendly approach in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana.
Senegal set up regulatory framework for the management of electronic waste
Meanwhile, the Senegalese government is preparing to set up a regulatory framework for the management of electrical and electronic waste in the country.
Senegal aims to recycle 90% of its electronic and electrical waste by 2025. The government wants to achieve this goal through a new regulatory framework.
This strategy was announced on October 14, 2022 by Malick Sow, Secretary General of the company Senegal numérique SA, during the celebration of the World Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Day in Senegal. The legislation in preparation aims to reduce pollution in this West African country.
The move by the government follows a report that revealed that the West African country produced more than 4 million tons of similar waste according to the Solid Waste Coordination and Management Unit (UCG) in 2019.
The regulation of e-waste management (computers, telephones, televisions, cables, mixed batteries, thermoplastics, etc.) in Senegal will also contribute to the preservation of the environment, as well as the health of the population.
These wastes have the particularity to contain dangerous substances for the environment, in particular batteries, cathode ray tubes, capacitors or refrigerants.
While waiting for future legislation on e-waste to come into force in Senegal, awareness-raising continues in the country as well as the dismantling, collection and recovery projects implemented by the State IT Agency (ADIE).
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