ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of Energy recently announced a new action to collect electronic and electric waste. From April 15-May 15, capital residents can donate old electronic equipment and related items at the Technodom and Alser shopping halls.
The action is aimed at eliminating electronic and electric waste materials, which usually contain lead, mercury and other elements dangerous to human health. Recycling will also make it possible to effectively reuse the items.
Energy waste management department head Yerzhan Nurbekov noted the ministry is considering various disposal methods for electric appliances.
“We need to carry out the collection of solid waste separately and now we are testing various options of how to do this in a more convenient way for everyone. We have developed national standards for electrical equipment and its usage, so this action is the first step in identifying possible disposal options. Most likely, in the end we will represent a hybrid option, as we need to involve smaller settlements and regional centres, where the recycling equipment will cost more,” said Nurbekov.
A special awareness campaign will be organised to increase the social responsibility of Kazakh citizens. School children will learn about the dangers created by old electronic and electric waste, as well as the numerous benefits of recycling.
“The action will be partly supported by the students from Saken Seifullin Agrotechnical University and the members of the PosadiDerevo.kz public organisation. At this point, special containers for mobile phones and batteries have been installed in Technodom and Alser,” said Nurbekov.
Extended Producer Responsibility production director Aidyn Nurakhmetov called the action an experiment.
“As part of it, we want to see what kind of household products people will bring to us and whether they need a particular financial reward for that. The main difficulty in this process is not the recycling, but the collection. We need to establish collection facilities, cooperate with major electronic shops and organise the construction of a large-scale waste treatment plant,” he said.
Several special containers to gather lamps, batteries and other electric waste have been constructed in many courtyards in Astana. Much more must be done, however, to successfully coordinate the whole process.