HP has announced a project to address the growing problem of electronic waste in Africa in cooperation with the Global Digital Solidarity Fund and the Swiss Institute for Materials Science and Technology.
The collaboration aims to reduce the potential health and environmental hazards caused by the improper disposal of electronic waste, and to create jobs in disadvantaged communities.
The trio of organisations will undertake analysis and provide support for improved recycling processes over the coming year.
"We see this project as a means to help develop an infrastructure to safely deal with electronic waste based on local habits and structures," said Klaus Hieronymi, head of HP's environment business management organisation in EMEA.
"We hope that this initial analysis will enable us to create a widespread public-private partnership that will improve health and environmental standards and help disadvantaged communities by promoting skills and creating jobs."
The project aims to develop a blueprint for electronic waste management in Africa in conjunction with existing recycling schemes, and to deploy the initiative on a large scale by December 2008.
"This issue requires a specifically tailored solution," said Dr Mathias Schluep, project manager for sustainable technology cooperation at the Swiss Institute for Materials Science and Technology.
"Given the number of people involved in the informal sector we are looking to develop effective methods of dealing with waste that will allow this sector to flourish in a safe and sustainable manner."
The initial phase will consist of a pilot project in South Africa together with an analysis of existing practices in Morocco, Kenya and Tunisia.
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