Ewaste Recycler, Hinckley Exports Tonnes of Hazardous Phone Batteries from Nigeria

Bennett Oghifo

Nigeria’s first ewaste recycler, Hinckley Recycling in partnership with Closing the Loop, a Dutch sustainable tech innovator, has shipped tonnes of hazardous mobile phone batteries from Nigeria to Belgium for safe recycling.

“It has been proven that scrap batteries can be used to produce clean materials for the future,” Hinckley said in a statement, adding that this move had delivered a unique result which was likely to become a game-changer for the ICT and recycling industry.

The project was initiated in 2017 and through the Hinckley Recycling, Closing the Loop partnership was able to ship a container of scrap mobile phone batteries from Nigeria to Europe for safe recycling.

According to the statement, “This was a timely move as the world is beginning to discuss the effect of electrical waste on our health and the environment in Nigeria. Batteries are toxic and can be extremely hazardous if not managed properly.

“This potential hazard was avoided thanks to the effort of Hinckley Recycling and this shipment is the first of its kind from Nigeria. The shipment arrived safely in the EU country mid-April this year and will go into the process of recycling to extract the raw materials.”

Hinckley said the shipment of the batteries was done in accordance to the Basel Convention regulations, an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations. The Convention is specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries. Hinckley Recycling and Closing the Loop made sure this project was able to fully comply with the necessary international requirement, the statement said.

The pilot project was supported by National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Verde Impacto, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag.

Through this collaboration, Hinckley Recycling Nig Ltd had been able to contribute towards Nigeria’s goal to reduce electronic waste and turn e-waste into usable materials. “This is a first of its kind operations and Hinckley Recycling is ready to do more in order to keep helping the country meet its sustainability goals,” the statement said.

Hinckley Recycling says it is committed to engender a standard of excellence by providing a high-quality service for the disposal of electronic waste. “We ensure that this service is always conducted in an environmentally friendly manner and the processes involved during the disposal would at all times conform to and comply with all relevant legislation as enforced by the recognized authorities – local and international.

“Hinckley Recycling is dedicated to the responsibility of being a good steward of the environment and will in all circumstances aspire to constantly emphasize awareness of the natural environment, whilst maintaining a level of proficiency which demonstrates bona fide leadership in all spheres of the environment.

“Hinckley Recycling conforms to strict environmental recycling requirements and best practices. We are the first registered Ewaste recycler in Nigeria and pride ourselves on working closely with the Ministry of Environment, NESREA and LASEPA.

“We offer a socially responsible solution for E-waste and we give you peace of mind ensuring that your business is contributing to reducing its carbon footprint, as well as recycling E-Waste responsibly.”

Closing the Loop said to enable its One for One model, they partner with local entrepreneurs in Africa and Asia to create local recovery networks that collect scrap mobile phones for recycling.

“We support the collection, storage, and especially the accreditation process for transporting these scrap phones. This way, we ensure that all collection, storage and transport is done with the right permits and following all local and international regulations.

“In the developed world, we are re-using more and more of our equipment. This is a great way to extend the life of devices, and it should be encouraged. The downside is that 70% of these devices end up in emerging markets, with no recycling facilities once these devices reach their end-of-life about 4 years later. “Closing the Loop takes care of this problem by removing these obsolete devices from these emerging markets and creating safe employment.

“Our partners in Africa and Asia range from students that are running a small business to established companies that have been operating for many years, such as Maiden Group in Ghana. “To date, Closing the Loop has helped more than 2,000 people to earn additional income through safe employment, and we have collected more than 2.2 million phones.”

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