Did you know that the medals for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics are made of recycled electronic devices? In fact, most of the e-waste was collected from Japanese households. Isn’t that a great way to raise awareness on waste management?
What is E-waste, by the way?
E-waste is broken, damaged or old electronic products discarded by people as waste without the intention of re-use. Without a proper waste management system, they would just build up in landfills. To make things worse, they can release certain harmful toxins into the air and ground.
According to Turtle Wings, about 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are being disposed to worldwide every year. Sadly, only a very small amount is being recycled.
For this reason, at The Hive Bulk Foods, we help to facilitate e-waste management as a part of our social responsibility programme and to reduce environmental footprint.
Since 2017, roughly 3.5 tons of e-waste was dropped off at our stores for recycling. They were collected by an enthusiastic former bank manager.
Read on to find out who he is!
Vincent Chung started to collect e-waste since 2012 as a hobby during the weekends for his passion for repairing. Together with some friends, he goes from house to house to collect unwanted electronics waste for recycling. Later, strangers were approaching Vincent for contributions and collaborations.
In 2014, I take matters into my own hands. I formed my own team to collect e-waste in a larger volume. I represent the Urbana Recycle, a company which I also refer to as the recycling ecosystem. It is very different from the conventional recycling system due to its more efficient nature of work.
We do recycling, preloved and donation. Whatever that we receive, we call them resources.
Each day, we would gather e-waste from our collecting points, brings them back to our office and conduct diagnosis.
Initially, Vincent and his team had logistics challenges to collect e-waste in larger volume. At the same time, most people don’t know how to segregate waste properly.
Our segregation process can be complicated, we want to make sure nothing useful is ever wasted. Even if only 5% of a calculator can be saved, we will spend time and effort to save it. While the remaining materials will be sent to a factory in Shah Alam to extract parts and remake new materials.
Currently, he owns Artemis Space, a shop that sells the repaired electronic, preloved and vintage goods.
I think people must change their consumption behaviour. Don’t buy something that you want, just buy something that you need. Try to learn more about how our waste impacts our planet. It’s crucial.
Since May 2017, Vincent has collected e-waste more than 60 times from The Hive Bulk Foods stores. Feel free to drop off your e-waste (cables, light bulb, phone, laptop, microwave, etc) at our outlets in Bangsar and Intermark.