The Qatar Foundation (QF), inspired by the success of a recent electronic waste (e-waste) recycling initiative, plans to make it an annual drive, an official said.
The campaign proved popular, with 4.5 tonnes of e-waste being collected over the course of seven days, through containers placed at three locations across Education City as well as other QF entities.
Members of the QF community were encouraged to deposit old and used electronic equipment such as computers, laptops, monitors, keyboards, televisions, printers, telephones, mobiles and microwaves in the containers.
The campaign was launched in collaboration with Al Haya Waste Management & Projects Company. QF also carried out individual collection drives at several of its centres, entities, and schools across Qatar, including in Al Khor.
The initiative aims to tackle the growing problem of e-waste in Qatar and raise awareness of its hazardous impact among the community and QF through this programme, aims to help foster a culture of sustainability.
Explaining the purpose of the initiative, Aisha Ghani, environment specialist, Health, Safety, Security & Environment Directorate at QF, said: “Previously, we did not offer any e-waste recycling opportunities to our community members – we only offered people the chance to recycle paper, plastic and cans.
“However, e-waste is a big challenge on a global scale as it contains hazardous materials. For example, toners and cartridges – which are our main concern at Qatar Foundation – include toxic chemicals that, if not disposed of correctly, can leach into soil and water and be harmful to the environment.”
The collected e-waste is now being segregated, categorised, and packed at Al Haya facility, from where it will be shipped to a special recycling factory in Singapore to be processed. The electronic devices are pulled apart and each component, such as plastic and metal, will be sent to individual recycling factories.
“The main aim of this drive was to clear out as much e-waste as possible; to educate people by raising awareness among the community; and provide individuals with the opportunity to recycle,” Ghani said.
“E-waste is a very real, and very big challenge. Ultimately, we hope that this campaign becomes an annual drive – we want to lead by example,” he added.
Qatar Green Building Council – a member of QF – also introduced e-waste recycling into its annual ‘No Paper Day’ campaign for the first time this year. As part of the recently-concluded campaign, members of the community and local organisations were encouraged to drop off recyclable e-waste at the QGBC Villa. During the campaign, nearly one tonne of e-waste was collected.
E-waste is now widely recognised as the fastest-growing waste stream on the planet. According to a United Nations report published in January this year, the world produces as much as 50mn tonnes of e-waste a year – with only 20% of this being formally recycled.
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