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Wednesday, Oct 23rd

Ericsson, MTN launch e-waste campaign in Ivory Coast

Ericsson, MTN launch e-waste campaign in Ivory Coast.

Ericsson and MTN Côte d'Ivoire this week launched a campaign to drive the awareness and collection of electronic waste (e-waste) in the country.

According to a media release from the two companies, an e-waste collection station has been opened to the public at Sorbonne Plateu in the capital Abidjan and will be in place for four months.

"A 20-foot container serves as a collection depot. Here, citizens can bring in old phones, computers and other electronic equipment to be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. The container will also serve as an education and awareness centre that will be manned by volunteers. At the close of the campaign, collected e-waste will be transported to an Ericsson-approved recycling partner in Durban, South Africa," the release states.

The e-waste disposal campaign, which is also supported by the Ministry of the Environment of Ivory Coast, is led by Ericsson's ecology management program.

Dr. Allah Kouadio Remy, the West African country's Minister of Environment, Public Health and Sustainability, said, "Private sector initiatives in terms of sustainable development and social responsibility are to be welcomed. Indeed, many companies, whatever their size, abide by the national requirements as regards environmental preservation. Some of them are involved in a certification process; others have a social responsibility process. I would like to, on behalf of the Government, congratulate Ericsson and MTN and encourage you to continue in this direction. I would also like to take the opportunity to invite all the other companies that are not yet involved in sustainability to embrace it. The environment is of course a public asset but above all a common property which sustains our economy and well-being and that we have to leave in a good condition to the future generations."

Freddy Tchala, chief executive officer of MTN Côte d'Ivoire said "MTN is extremely excited by this campaign. We see this as a great opportunity to engage with customers and citizens alike to spread the word about responsible recycling of e-waste. And we are also proud to set an example as a responsible corporate citizen leading the way for other companies to join us in this important campaign."

E-waste that is not recycled properly "is an under-acknowledged environmental hazard around the world," claim both companies.

West Africa is reportedly one of the worst hit regions, as large quantities of end of life materials disposed globally are dumped here, often illegally.

Fredrik Jejdling, head of region, sub-Saharan Africa, Ericsson: "Our vision to be a responsible and relevant driver of positive change in the Networked Society starts with conducting business responsibly. That's why taking accountability for the environmental impact of all our products and services during their lifecycle through our Ecology Management Product Take-Back program is important to us. This is our second foray into extending our Take Back Program to include the public and we are proud to partner MTN here in Ivory Coast in making this happen."

According to Ericsson, when its products are taken back , more than 98% of the materials is recycled.

"The ecology management program is expanding. Both through involving more countries and by increasing take-back volumes for our customers. Product take-back and recycling levels have increased significantly, from 9,800 tons in 2013 to 15,900 tons in 2014," the company states.

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