Vietnam Recycles (VR) has launched a new cooperation programme with schools and universities to boost e-waste collection activities.
The programme commenced in March 2018 and lasts for one year.
At each of the selected schools, VR will train students to become programme ambassadors. Through these ambassadors, VR will be able to amplify their efforts to increase awareness of the importance of professional electronics recycling.
In addition, ambassadors may collect discarded electronics on behalf of the programme and will be awarded based on collection volumes.
VR successfully recycled almost 10,000 kilogrammes of e-waste in 2017, doubling the 4,800 collected in the year prior, helping to remove items from Vietnamese households.
Among the items that the organisation recycled last year were printers, fax machines, and scanners—with the three items comprising 48 per cent of the materials that VR was able to recycle at its state-of-the-art facility, rising from a 13 per cent share in 2016.
Electronic components made up 20 per cent of the items that VR recycled, with laptops and desktop computers accounting for a further 8 per cent.
Despite the impressive numbers, the nation falls well short of the total e-waste the nation produces, which the Ministry of Science and Technology estimates could be as high as 90,000 tonnes per year.
“Our growth last year is a sign that our message is catching on around Vietnam,” said Miriam Lassernig, VR’s spokesperson. “Of the groups that have been the most supportive and receptive to our message, university students stand out. Students are questioning their own habits and are sensitive to environmental and health issues.”
“They acknowledge their own role and power as consumers and are willing to live up to the responsibilities that come with this. This led us to explore ways to partner with students to help spread our message and help get e-waste out of people’s back-rooms, off the streets, and recycled to the highest of international standards. Ideally, these student partnerships will help instill recycling behaviors in them that become habits they retain through their adult lives,” she said.
In addition to the university-based collection programme, VR also offers a collection service at households and firms. At the same time, in order to create convenience for locals to dispose e-waste in a manner that ensures responsible, international-standard recycling, VR has established ten collection points in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.