Are there benefits to e-waste?

An e-waste expert, Dr Ifeanyi Ochonogor, on Thursday called for better management of e-waste  to generate income and provide employment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The expert made the call at the Material Recovery Facility Tour jointly organised by Nigeria Institution of Environment Engineers (NIEE) and the Rotary Club, Omole, Lagos.

The theme of the event was ‘Opportunities for SMEs in e-Waste Management.’

Ochonogor, Chief Executive Officer, E-Terra Technologies Limited, said that e-waste possessed the capacity to generate income after the toxic components had been properly disposed by experts.

According to him, SMEs could act as suppliers of e-waste or employ people to be suppliers after having gone through training to understand what eco-friendly e-waste is all about.

The e-waste expert said there was need for proper orientation and training of the informal sector and suppliers on how to handle e-waste to prevent the hazardous effect.

“Most electronic devices have storage media components that contain confidential information.

‘These devices must be properly erased for reuse or permanently destroyed if unwanted to prevent confidential information leakages that can lead to serious financial, intellectual property and security breach,” Ochonogor said.

He, however, said that the aggregate effect of improper storage, handling and disposal of e-waste in terms of health, environmental and confidential data breach had become too serious to be ignored.

Also speaking, Mr Abiola Kosegbe, Chairman, Nigeria Institution of Environmental Engineers, Lagos chapter, said that there were various opportunities for SMEs in e-waste.

Kosegbe said that in the waste management cycle, there were tiers of management which included the treatment, processing and e-plastics.

”SMEs can approach E-terra, look at the streams of waste that is derivable from the actual e-waste and tap into it,” he said.