Why broken African phones?

Eric Arthur doesn’t have much time for hobbies; He spends most of his weekends driving around Ghana picking up broken cell phones.

From your home in Cape Coast, you can go more than 100 miles (160 km) in a weekend visiting repair shops and junkyards, anywhere that has a decent supply of broken devices.

On a good weekend you can collect 400 of them. In addition, he manages a team of six agents who do the same in other parts of the country, and between them they hope to collect around 30,000 phones this year.

Arthur and his agents pay the sellers a small amount for each phone, between 2.5 and 2.7 Ghana cedis, or about 44 cents (33 pence).

Although telephones cannot be repaired, it may sometimes be necessary to persuade people to part with them.

“A [new] Android phone costs like $ 150 and I’m offering them less than $ 1 for it. Even though it’s no longer usable, they say, ‘But I bought it at this price. So why should I give? So cheap how that? ‘”

His weekend job is paid for by a Dutch company called Closing the Loop. The company ships the phones collected by Eric and his team to Europe, where they are broken down and recycled. Then a specialized foundry company recovers about 90% of the metals from the phone, a process that incinerates the plastic parts.

But why send phones to thousands of thousands from West Africa?

Joost de Kluijver, co-founder of Closing the Loop with Reinhardt Smit, says the answer is simple. Africa does not yet have the sophisticated smelting plants needed to recover the small amounts of high-value metals that are used to make a mobile phone.

“Everything you need to have in a plant that is financially sustainable is missing,” he says. “There is no legislation, infrastructure, or consumer awareness. As a result, you don’t have the money to fund proper collection and recycling.”

Meanwhile, around 230 million phones are sold in Africa each year. When they are no longer needed, some are collected by the informal recycling industry, but most are thrown away.

About Kepala Bergetar

Tonton Melayu Drama dan Download Live Malay Telefilem Video, Kepala Bergetar Episod Malay Drama dfm2u. Terkini Gempak Episode Terbaru Malaysia Filem. Malay Online Drama Kepala Bergetar.

Check Also

Can South Africa Embrace Renewables?

Can South Africa Embrace Renewables?

Coal remains South Africa’s main source of electricity, despite the fact that many areas of …