Cape Town - A computer retailer has collected tons of old
equipment from customers in an attempt to limit the harm that dumping it would
have on the environment.
"Incredible Connection's Trade In promotion in February saw 106 tons of old equipment being collected and over 16 000 discount items sold in return," the company said.
The annual initiative allows customers to use old hardware as a discount on new items from Incredible Connection.
The company believes this raises awareness about the harm that e-waste can cause the environment. In West African countries, there is concern over e-waste from Europe that is dumped.
People scavenge through the garbage to find rare metals in the PCs and laptops to sell.
"The primary purpose of this initiative is to raise awareness about both the legal and ethical necessity for the correct disposal of e-waste," said CEO Dave Miller.
"Although Incredible Connection is a convenient collection point all year round, our Trade In promotion incentivised customers to make the extra effort to clean up," he added.
There are many potentially toxic materials in PC boards that may not harm the environment, but may be a health hazard to people and animals.
"Informal processing of electronic waste can leach toxic contaminants into the environment and cause health problems for anyone who comes into contact with them, but many people don't know this," said Malcolm Whitehouse of Incredible Connection's recycling partners, Desco Electronic Recyclers.
Equipment that can be refurbished is donated to schools and non-profit organisations.