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New Lagos policy on electronic waste underway

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
15 August 2016   |   2:20 am
Flustered by the increasing environmental abuse in Lagos, the authorities are planning a new regulation to address the challenges and opportunities of electronic waste (e- waste), for the benefit of both present and future generations.

e-waste

Flustered by the increasing environmental abuse in Lagos, the authorities are planning a new regulation to address the challenges and opportunities of electronic waste (e- waste), for the benefit of both present and future generations.

The regulation is coming under a new draft document known as Lagos State e- waste Policy, which will assist the State been the main port of entry and exit of new or used electrical electronics and recovered metals to engage a more strategic and cooperative approach to the issues as well as maximise any potential recycling benefits.

In the policy, the state is proposing an extended producer responsibility programme, an approach consisting a mandated product take back with targeted financing scheme and well-defined roles for all participants – producers, users, authorities and waste managers.

E-waste is one of the fastest-growing waste streams in Lagos State, owing to an increase in consumption of electrical and electronic equipment. As far back as 2006, scientific reports, approximately 80 per cent of the e-waste of developed countries are exported to poor or developing countries. Nigeria ranks among the top 10 importers of e- waste after China.

Essentially, the policy represents the commitment of the State in putting in place harmonised and coordinated strategies, programmes and actions to manage e- waste in an environmentally sound manner, reduction of cost and environmental impact from e- waste, improve the efficiency of procurement, use, and end of life management of electronic equipment for sustainable socio-economic development.

The State’s Ministry of Environment through the upgraded Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) E waste Department is expected to coordinate and manage the implementation of the policy so as to enhance synergies and minimise duplication of efforts. Working jointly with existing relevant state and national governments’ agencies, departments and institutions and others that may be established in the implementation of the policy.

Specifically, the policy aims to identify all E-waste stakeholders within the State and establish the institution of a collaborative Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for environmentally sound management and decision making in the state.

It also intends to develop a legal framework for state – wide management of used electrical and electronic equipment as regards green procurement, consumption, generation, extended producers responsibility on take back option, collection, distribution, recycling and disposal as well as establish a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) for all local manufacturers, importers, distributors and resellers of electronic equipment, where membership fees will be charged to cater for the cost of collection and recycling.

Other key features include developing enforcement mechanism for product take-back system that requires producers, assemblers, importers and distributors, sellers to take back old and end of life products. The government intends to institute the funding mechanism – e-waste fund for initiatives of the e-waste programme and apportioning financial obligations for stakeholders in line with agreed models.

The LASEPA general manager, Adebola Shabi, an engineer, said recently, that the global problems associated with improper management and handling of E-waste and rapid advances in electrical and electronic technology has led to an increase in the amount of obsolete electrical electronic equipment in the environment.According to him, the policy will embrace stakeholders in Lagos to develop a lasting solution to the problems before it assumes an epidemic proportion.

The illegal importation of E-waste from Europe and the United States explains why large quantities of these waste end up in Nigeria. Unfortunately, Lagos has become the most recipient of the fast growing amount of E-waste with about 70 per cent irreparable and so end up being dumped in warehouses, burnt near residences, on lands, roadsides and swamps,” he said.

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