EGYPT: an application to exchange e-waste for vouchers

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EGYPT: an application to exchange e-waste for vouchers©ermess/Shutterstock

The Egyptian government plans to launch a mobile application to facilitate the collection of e-waste in the country. Egyptians will soon be able to exchange their old devices for discount vouchers on the purchase of new equipment.

With a view to improving the collection and treatment of electronic waste, the Egyptian government wants to test a new provision that could come into force soon. Egyptian Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad has reached an agreement with her Communications and Information Technology counterpart, Amr Talaat, to launch a mobile application to facilitate the collection of electronic waste in the North African country.

The mobile application will enable people to exchange their electronic waste for discount vouchers for the purchase of new devices. Tarek al-Araby, the director of the medical and electronic waste project at the Egyptian Ministry of Environment also said the government is providing for the collection of public sector waste.

New facilities for the treatment of electronic waste

The Egyptian government’s new project also aims to prevent electrical waste from continuing to be handled by the informal sector. This is because, explains Amr Talaat, the operators in the sector only sort valuable coins, and the rest is disposed of in an unsafe manner. The Egyptian Ministry of the Environment is currently studying and validating the approvals of electrical waste treatment companies.

The country has seven, compared with one five years ago. This policy should improve the management of electrical waste in all sectors in Egypt. The authorities responsible for environmental management estimate that the bulk of electronic waste (58%) comes from the private sector; 25% of this potentially hazardous waste is generated by households and 19% by the public sector.

To deal with this waste, the Egyptian government also relies on the support of its partners, notably Switzerland, with which it has just signed an agreement to carry out a waste inventory in order to better supply the treatment plants. A model of cooperation that can be replicated in other countries on the African continent.

Jean Marie Takouleu 

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