Factors Influencing E-waste Disposal In Public Organizations In Kenya: The Case Of University Of Nairobi
The aim of this study was to determine the factors that influence disposal of e-waste in public organizations, in particular at the University of Nairobi, having been selected as being representative of the target organizations. The motivation of the study was to develop a baseline survey on the state of e-waste at the University. Specific effort was deployed towards investigation of the strengths and weaknesses in the handling of e-waste at the University. The objective was, in particular, to investigate the obtaining status in regard to the influence of policy guidelines and disposal regulations in regard to appropriate e-waste disposal, noting that e-waste may increasingly become a major environmental concern. Further, the study sought to determine the influence of Extended Producer Responsibility on disposal of e-waste at the University, as well as determination of how recycling facilitation influenced disposal of e-waste. The significance of e-waste problem in Kenya is that e-waste is relatively new and its quantities are rapidly growing as technology becomes more common. The researcher observes that there are no established environmentally safe disposal methods to keep pace with this change. It is important to note e-waste contains materials that are both valuable and toxic. This then calls for a scientific and business approach to solving the problem. The study design was of descriptive and exploratory techniques. Semi- structured questionnaires and observation methods were deployed to collect information from the respondents who comprised ICT, Procurement Officers and Disposal Committee members at the University of Nairobi. Data analysis was done by both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Quantitative data was analyzed by use of descriptive statistics, that is, frequencies, percentages and averages. Content analysis generated the qualitative data and was reported in narrative form. Data presentation and interpretation was reported through the use of tables. It is anticipated that the outcome of the study will contribute to the way forward in disposal of e-waste in public organizations, as well as assist in implementation of immediate mitigation measures through increased awareness. The study revealed that, the University deployed appropriate ICT procurement tools to ease the assessment and identification of the suitable products. On the other hand, the University had failed to adequately implement systems for vetting imports. Further, that limited capacity of relevant government agencies to deal with e-waste and lack of public awareness on the need for safe ewaste disposal as concerning. Lack of coordinated approach across service providers and the University to deal with e-waste are also common challenges on e-waste disposal. Based on findings of this study, the researcher recommends that: In relation to overall greening of public organizations, indicators of greening the e-waste streams should include the value of - and, jobs related to - the goods generated through the greening of the e-waste sector such as remanufactured products and the services in terms of e-waste collection, segregation, and processing. Economic and social benefits in terms of health, property values, as well as direct and indirect job creation should also be included. Additional efforts are needed to collect data and conduct quantitative analysis in all public organizations to enable policy makers to design their strategy for greening the e- waste sector on a more informed basis. Economic and social benefits in terms of health, property values, as well as direct and indirect job creation should also be included. Not all of these indicators may, however, be readily available and thus may call for further research.