The dangers facing many poor people in the developing world from recycling mobile phones and other electronic waste is causing increasing concern and steps are now being taken to educate workers on safer recycling methods.
Part of the training approach is to explain that current methods shorten life expectancy and that most of the money made from recycling will eventually end up being spent on future healthcare. A better alternative is to adopt international recycling best practice by using the right equipment and wearing protective clothing, with the prospect of leading longer healthier lives. One outcome of the training has been the realisation that many of the workers were completely oblivious to the dangers to their health endemic in the previous recycling methods.
The longer term goal is to enable workers in developing countries to become self-sufficient in meeting their own training needs.
The training modules have been developed by Learning Light a Sheffield-based e-learning company. No reading or writing is needed and the training has been developed to satisfy the EU’s WEEE Directive. The training contains strong visual and oral prompts and can be accessed online.
The Nigerian recycling industry is set to receive substantial safety benefits from implementing this training in conjunction with hands on tuition from experts from the Centre for Sustainable Wastes Management in Northampton.