As from 23 August 2021, landfill sites will no longer be allowed to accept old electric and electronic devices, and batteries for dumping. Instead, consumers and companies are now expected to submit these items for recycling by taking them to a licensed recycler of electric and electronic waste equipment (WEEE).
The reason for this legislation is the known fact that some of the chemicals and materials used in the manufacture of the specific products can leach into the soil and poison the environment. So, by outlawing the dumping of WEEE and batteries, government is trying to arrest the contamination to our environment.
Of course, what the legislation doesn’t say – and what government can’t seem to tell the public – is where they can find an approved E-Waste recycler.
Desco, however, is a licensed recycler and says it has been preparing for this day since the regulations were promulgated almost eight years ago when then minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, gazetted the National Norms and Standards for Disposal of Waste to Landfill as contemplated in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008).
“As a result of that preparation, we should have a Desco WEEE disposal bin situated at a Makro store near you – we have bins at 19 Makro stores around the country,” the company says. “Alternatively, if it’s more convenient, you can bring your WEEE and old batteries directly to us at one of our sites in Kempton Park, Cape Town and Durban.”
Within that announcement were a number of hard deadlines, the last of which comes up on 23 August 2021, and it includes WEEE and old batteries, among a few other things not related to electric or electronic equipment.