E-waste is a popular, informal name for electronic products nearing the end of their “useful life.” Computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, and fax machines are common electronic products. Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled. Unfortunately, electronic discards is one of the fastest growing challenges of the English speaking Caribbean. To-date not much is known on how much E-waste is generated by the region. A Jamaican NGO ( Kevoy Community Development Institute (KCDI) which provides Farm Management and Community Development training to the region’s small farmers and their communities along with the Basel Convention Regional Center for the Caribbean (BCRC) has established a working relationship to try and address the English speaking Caribbean E-waste challenges. Certain components of some electronic products contain materials that render them hazardous, depending on their condition and density. For instance, California law currently views non-functioning CRTs (cathode ray tubes) from televisions and monitor as hazardous. Lets take a simple desktop computer in each component Monitor, Keyboard Mouse and Central Processing Unit CPU there are hazardous elements within their make up.
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have done tremendous work in addressing E-waste challenges Dominica Republic leads the way in this endeavor but unfortunately the English speaking Caribbean has been left behind.
Between the BCRC and KCDI this gap will be closed. It is the intention of the BCRC base on their 2012-2013 work-plan to establish working relationships within the region to try and address the numerous challenges.It is of concern to note that Haiti, Grenada, and Suriname are not party to the BCRC and with action allows E-waste to enter the respective member state with out the proper handling and transportation guidelines.
There being no governmental collection initiative in member state countries within the English speaking Caribbean the proper handling, transportation and disposal of E-waste continues to be a challenge the results being 80% of usable E-Waste are sent to developing countries to be reuse,recycle or disposed of, many of these developing countries especially those which are not party to the Basel Convention become dumping for these E-waste product.
Each of us can act now get involve help save the Caribbean Environment. Call the Basel Convention Regional Center for the Caribbean which is located in Trinidad
Dr. Ahman Khan- Director (1-868) 662-2855623.