GEMS Education has teamed up with Fixerman, the Dubai-based device repair specialists, to launch the largest school electronic waste (e-waste) campaign in the UAE.
The campaign aims to reduce the amount of broken or unwanted devices, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops, that end up in landfill sites. When electronic devices are dumped in landfills, toxic substances like lead and mercury can leak into the soil and water system.
On average, a UAE resident produces 17.2 kilogrammes of e-waste every year, driven by an increasing dependence on technology, with devices continuously and frequently upgraded for newer models. As a result, many households have multiple unused or defective devices at home that risk not being disposed of properly or safely.
According to the UN’s Global E-Waste Monitor 2020, a record 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019. That is the equivalent weight of 350 cruise ships’ worth of electronics, and this amount is set to rise to 74 Mt by 2030.
The GEMS-Fixerman e-waste campaign will make it easier for school communities to dispose of any broken or unwanted devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops through the provision of secure collection bins at every school.
Made from recyclable materials, these bins are secure and sturdy and will be collected by Fixerman, with the contents taken away for recycling. The collected devices will be disposed of by Dubai Municipality-authorised recycling company E-scrappy.
Educating next generation
Jassim Bangara, CEO and Founder of Fixerman, and a GEMS Modern Academy alumnus, said: “It is important to educate the next generation about the impact of our lifestyle on the environment. While there are many conversations going on about climate change and even waste management in general, we need to emphasise the importance of e-waste given the tech-driven lifestyle we have these days.
“I believe that through this campaign we can encourage young people, and indeed the whole community, to think of sustainability and environmental impact when making lifestyle choices. Before purchasing a new phone or laptop, we should ensure our old devices are either repaired or recycled.”
In addition to the weekly collections, Fixerman will visit schools with their trademark van – the world’s first solar-powered mobile service centre – to offer device repairs to GEMS parents and staff.
Use of technology
Ershad Ahmed, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Loyalty at GEMS Education said: “In the past two years, schools and families have depended on technology more than ever. Through GEMS Education’s partnership with Fixerman, we are making it easier for the community to dispose of old devices safely and securely, while also offering families a quick and efficient way to repair their devices at our schools. As the UAE’s largest education provider, we believe we can make a positive difference by reducing our impact on the environment and encouraging the recycling of devices in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The UAE-wide campaign will run until May 2023 with a target of safely and securely recycling approximately 0.5 tonnes of e-waste per school.-- TradeArabia News Service