A Participatory Approach to Improve the Management of E-waste in Nigeria

An abstract from the 7th China – Europe International Symposium on Software Industry Orientated Education to be held 23-24th May 2011 at School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton, UK. For more details can be found at this link.

A Participatory Approach to Improve the Management of E-waste in Nigeria
Margaret P Bates[a], Kathleen M Holley[a] and Oladele Osibanjo[b]
a Centre for Sustainable Wastes Management, The University of Northampton, Northampton, UK NN2 6JD
b Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre for Africa for Training and Technology Transfer, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Approximately 125 million computers are discarded annually, with most ending up in landfill sites. The number of waste computers is high because of the short lifespan of personal computers (PCs) (Kiatkittipong et al. 2007). The typical life of a PC in the work place is approximately 2-3 years, while in the home it is 3-5 years, with an additional two and a half for second use (Kiatkittipong et al. 2007; Osibanjo and Nnorom 2007). As a result of the rising quantity of waste, within recent years there has been growing debate about the export of computers to Africa, and other developing countries, and even calls for banning this activity. Using the City of Lagos, Nigeria, as a case study, this paper describes a project which employed a participatory approach involving a range of stakeholders to address the issues of export and the environmental and financial lessons learnt from the importing and (mis)management e-waste and Waste and Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) into Nigeria.

Details of the conference can be found at: http://www.computing.northampton.ac.uk/~landt/conference.html