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Cameroon takes first steps towards electronics recycling

Cameroon is hardly one of Africa’s biggest e-scrap producers, generating less than 1kg of waste per inhabitant per year, and had no e-cycling capacity to speak of. The first recycling plant will treat almost five tonnes of scrap per year.

The Ewankan Centre, named after the district where it is located, was developed by the French association Solidarité Technologique. It describes the new plant as ‘the first specialised e-waste and electrical waste centre in the Central African zone’.

The site was jointly inaugurated on 19 March by Pierre Hele, Cameroon’s Minister of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, and the French Ambassador to Cameroon, Gilles Thibault.

Solidarité Technologique plans to work with mobile collectors who will go door-to-door to help households dispose of unwanted devices. The e-scrap will then be sorted into functional and damaged electronics. A dismantling crew will try to repair and reuse what they can while the rest will be recycled.

The association also intends to build and equip a second 2 500 m2 plant in Cameroon’s business hub Douala shortly. The plan is to open 12 waste collection points in Yaoundé and Douala.

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