CONSUMER E-WASTE RECYCLING IN SOUTH AFRICA

Ruby Ichikowitz, Teresa Hattingh

Abstract


Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, is the fastest growing waste stream in South Africa, and poses a serious environmental risk if mismanaged. Through appropriate recycling processes and the recovery of raw materials such as gold and copper, e-waste creates substantial financial opportunities while conserving the environment and reducing the impact of climate change. To take advantage of this source of economic growth in South Africa, the collection of e-waste needs to be improved. This investigation explores consumer perceptions about and behaviours of e-waste recycling through a household consumer survey that was conducted with participants in the Gauteng area of South Africa. It was found that there is a general lack of consumer awareness about e-waste recycling and limited pro-recycling behaviours, both influenced by under-developed collection mechanisms and infrastructure. Opportunities for improving household recycling are explored by considering international collection schemes, and recommendations are made considering current local challenges.


Keywords


e-waste, electronic waste, recycling

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7166/31-3-2416

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Copyright (c) 2020 Ruby Ichikowitz, Teresa Hattingh


ISSN 2224-7890 (on-line) ; ISSN 1012-277X (print)


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