tackling the ewaste problem in Kenya and Africa

How to deal with e waste and make some cash from it

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E waste is becoming a big problem in Africa, mainly because of the “donations” of old unused electronics from America and European countries. E waste is a name derived from electronic waste which is any domestic electrical appliance, ICT electronics or mobile phones that are not usable anymore. In fact a good working discontinued decoder is considered to be e waste. The theory according to me is that if it’s not usable to any humans nearby then its e waste. E waste when dumped in landfills causes environmental degradation by releasing toxic chemicals like mercury and lead. When burnt, e waste emits these dangerous chemicals as well as a foul smell in the air. This can cause breathing problems to children as well as grownups alike if inhaled.

So it starts with you do not dump e waste into the landfills directly instead you could do the following and earn some cash while at it. The amount depends on your willingness and marketing skills. This advice applies both to businesses and individuals as well.

Donate any working electronics to deserving people

In this world there is nothing more satisfying than seeing someone benefit and enjoy a gift. Give that old phone to someone in need or donate that old TV, DVD Player and movies to a children’s home near you. The satisfaction you will get is better than any monetary value in this world. Big companies can choose to donate their old computers to schools instead of throwing them away; it’s good for CSR you know.

Donating is good but please do not donate non working items unless the recipient asks for them. Its bad for CSR and your overall image.

 Sell as it is either working or non working

What type of old electronics do you own, a radio, DVD Player or perhaps a Mobile phone. If its working perfectly you can sell it. Just clean it well to get rid of any dust or hand oils that may have accumulated over the years. Using WD-40 or foam cleaner can make an old CRT monitor look new. The tip here is to make the item look as if it was being used all the time and not fished from the store. Clean every part, even the cables, stands and adapters where applicable. You can even sell your old working Mobile phone, TV set, DVD Player or anything else you can get your hands on.

Repair and sell

If the unit is not working you can have it repaired by a qualified service technician and sell it. Do not attempt to open anything for risk of electric shock. If the unit will require a spare part make sure that the cost is not higher than the final price you want to sell the unit. The cost of spare parts is usually lower than the cost of the unit itself not unless the spare part required is a TV LCD panel.

Take it apart and sell it as spare parts

Have you ever seen those banners in town saying “We buy dead phones”? You probably have. The un repairable units in your house or office can be sold to local technicians for spare part cannibalization. If the cost of the spare part is higher than the overall price you want to sell the unit then you can take apart the unit and sell the spare parts that you will get. Do not attempt to open up anything yourself but refer the service to qualified service technicians. There must be something useful to electronics technicians in e-waste. In short whatever you have can be sold.

Turn it into art and sell

If you are an artist or believe you have an artistic touch you can turn the e-waste into beautiful pieces of art and sell the finished products for a bigger price than the above two methods. Believe me there are people who can cough up quite big chunks of money in the name of art. Take for example the pieces below . How much do you think they were sold for.

art made from ewaste

 

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