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Nakumatt Holdings launches e-waste recycling program

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- East and Central Africa’s largest supermarket chain, Nakumatt Holdings on Friday launched a program to promote e-waste recycling.

The retailer will partner with UNEP, Hewlett Packard and the East African Compliant Recycling Center (EACR), to scale up sustainable management of e-waste.

“This new partnership will transform electronic waste recycling in the country. We intend to sensitize consumers on safe disposal of used gadgets to protect the environment,” said Nakumatt’s Director, Corporate Affairs, Raman Subramanian.

The retailer will partner with key stakeholders to run a month long e-waste recycling campaign dubbed “Recycle today for a better tomorrow”.

Nakumatt Holdings has prioritized environmental sustainability in its operations.

The Corporate Affairs Director noted that the retail chain has collected tonnes of electronic waste that will be handed over to certified recycling firms.

“We have established collection bins for electronic gadgets like fridges, phones, chargers, stereos and computers. Nakumatt has embedded environmental sustainability at the heart of our key operations,” Subramanian said.

He revealed that the retail chain will roll out the e-waste recycling program across east Africa. There is need for businesses to forge links with regulatory agencies and conservations lobbies to promote e-waste recycling.

The Environmental Director, HP, Herve Guilcher stressed that strategic partnerships will transform e-waste recycling.

“Electronic waste has economic value and its proper management will create jobs and income. We need to explore ways in which electronic waste can be tapped to create new incomes while protecting the environment,” Guilcher said.

The American Computer manufacturer has financed a pilot project in the Kenyan coast to promote e-waste recycling.

“Since 2010, we have involved the youth groups to promote the business of e-waste recycling. Hewlett Packard has provided sustainable business solutions to the electronic waste menace,” Guilcher said.

He revealed the computer manufacturer has recycled an estimated one million tonnes of e-waste. UNEP has encouraged countries to develop policy and regulatory incentives to promote e-waste recycling.

Head of UNEP Kenya Program, Henry Ndede stressed that a conducive friendly environment will attract funding and technologies required to enhance recycling of electronic waste.

“Electronic waste is the new face of pollution as more people acquire gadgets like personal computers, television sets, smart phones and fridges. We need to translate theories into practice in order to have robust e-waste recycling plants,” Ndede said.

Social entrepreneurs have tapped into e-waste recycling to create sustainable incomes for under-privileged youth.

The CEO, East African Compliant Recycling (EACR), Robert Truscott, told Xinhua that Kenyan youth have embraced recycling of e-waste to expand their revenue streams.

“We must bear in mind that business, consumers and the wider society will benefit from e-waste recycling. We have transformed youth at the bottom of the pyramid through innovative projects,” said Truscott.

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