An electronic waste recycling start-up based in the Propella Business Incubator aims to be one of the first companies on the continent to fully recycle electronic waste, such as computers, cellphones and household appliances.
“Should we receive our required funding we will be the first electronic waste plant in Africa to have an end-to-end zero-to-landfill facility,” says Enrico Vermaak of eWaste Technologies Africa.
“Electronic waste” is defined as “anything with a plug” such as discarded computers, office electronic equipment, entertainment device electronics, mobile phones, television sets and refrigerators.
According to the minister of environmental affairs Edna Molewa electronic waste makes up five to eight per cent of municipal solid waste in South Africa and is growing at a rate three times faster than any other form of waste.
eWaste Technologies Africa moved into the Propella advanced manufacturing hub in April 2016. “Being housed in Propella has given us the opportunity to have our warehouse, research and development facilities and office space all located in one building – which is a massive benefit to us,” he says.
Seeing the gap in the market for what the minister identified as a lack of recycling infrastructure eWaste Technologies Africa was set up to dispose of electronic waste.
“We have secured Research and Development funding that has allowed us to procure entry-level electronic waste recycling equipment, and are working with world leaders in the field of electronic waste recycling, as well as chemical engineering and process consultants to establish a one-of-a-kind facility in Port Elizabeth,” he says.
Vermaak, who has been involved in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry for more than 15 years, says the company specialises in the disposal of ICT equipment “in a green and compliant manner”.
Value-added services include on-site data destruction, data sanitation and asset management.
The company currently has four full-time employees, and sees potential for more job creation as it grows.
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