CAIRO (MEMO) – Egypt has announced plans to launch a waste management app to help people dispose of electronic waste.
The application, which will be called E-Tadweer, is set to be launched by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
The public will receive discount vouchers when purchasing appliances from companies that support the application, with citizens expected not to dispose of old computes, mobile phones or iPads in general waste bins.
The app is also intended to help people reduce their consumption of electronic devices.
The project is part of an agreement between the Ministry of Communications and the Swiss Embassy in 2016, which pledged to support the integration of companies recycling electronic waste in Egypt.
Though expected to end in 2020, the duration of the project has been extended to 2023.
With Minister for the Environment Yasime Fouad announcing that seven factories have been granted licenses to safely recycle electronic waste.
The Swiss Embassy is set to provide technical support in safely managing and recycling electronic waste, including steps to raise awareness of the issue and educate people on proper methods of disposal.
Fouad added that Egypt produces approximately 88,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year.
Yet, according to a Global E-waste Monitor report from 2017, Egypt produces nearer 500,000 tonnes of electronic waste annually; recycling only estimated five per cent and dumping the rest in landfills.
A 2017 UN report on the topic corroborated the estimate, placing Egypt as one of the top three e-waste producers in Africa, alongside Algeria and South Africa which produce approximately 300,000 tonnes each per year.
The report added that the documentation on recycling and reducing e-waste in Africa is inefficient, with very few states incorporating official policies related to e-waste protocols into political agendas.
Fouad said that the increasing use of solar panels to generate electricity, which will result in more electronic waste, is forcing the government to create sustainable management plans.
In October 2019, Egypt completed the construction of one of the world’s largest solar parks, said to be clearly visible from space, in an area of desert near the southern Egyptian city of Aswan.