Bank Windhoek recently collaborated with Kleentek Waste Management and Scrap Salvage on a reuse and recycle exercise of electronic waste which financially benefitted the Dagbreek School for the Intellectually Impaired. The initiative was facilitated by Recycle Namibia Forum (RFN).
Aimed at environmental sustainability in the workplace, the initiative came about when Bank Windhoek requested its waste management service provider, Kleentek Waste Management, to collect 1.6 tons of electronic waste and related office equipment from the Bank's establishments in and around Windhoek.
The electronic waste was then transported to Scrap Salvage who logged it under the Dagbreek School Collection Centre. The centre disassembled and retrieved the recyclables material from the electronic waste and made payment to Dagbreek School based on the value of the recyclables.
Electronic waste is a global concern since more than 20 million tons of it is produced annually. It is known as cast-off electronic equipment that has no use or has overrun its lifespan. Equipment includes devices such as computers, mobile phones and television sets.
“When dumped in landfills, these electronic devices release toxins like lead, mercury and cadmium which leak into soil and water," said Recycle Namibia Forum's Coordinator, Anita Witt.
Known as the "recycling hub", Dagbreek School was chosen as a beneficiary because of its contribution to recycle awareness and promotion. The school has won the RFN's Schools Recycling Competition for three consecutive years. In 2017, it collected a total of 33 tons of recyclable material.
To further continue on this path, the school has obtained collection bins to collect not only paper, plastic, cans and glass, but also electronic waste, household batteries and used light bulbs. Members of the public are encouraged to make use of the bins when they have such materials to dispose. Scrap Salvage has a skip container on site and regularly collects the recyclable waste and pays the school once it has been collected.
“This exercise highlights the importance of taking responsibility for our own waste. It also reduces the amount of waste that ultimately ends up on our landfill. Thank you Bank Windhoek, RNF, Kleentek Waste Management and Scrap Salvage, we welcome these types of gestures. It means that our efforts at being environmentally responsible are being recognized," said Dagbreek's School Principal, Paul du Plessis.
Bank Windhoek's Coordinator of Sponsorship and Events, Suzette January, said that as a responsible corporate citizen, the Bank will always strive to contribute to both environmental and health sustainability in Namibia. Bank Windhoek, Scrap Salvage and Kleentek Waste Management are members of RNF, a non-profit organisation aimed at coordinating projects that promote recycling, reduction and reuse of waste in Namibia.