Mandalah: USP Implements Initiative To Deal With Electronic Waste
University of São Paulo creates a center for the reuse and recycling of computer and telecommunication goods.
Founded in 2009, the CEDIR (Center for the Disposal and Reuse of Computer Residues) is now a full-blown facility directed towards the reuse and recycling of e-waste, mainly focused on obsolete computer and telecommunication equipment. It is a pioneer initiative in a public organization and a higher education institution in Brazil.
Located in a 400m2 warehouse inside the main university campus, the CEDIR processes between 500 and 1000 equipments per month, collected from various schools, colleges and institutes from the different USP campuses. As a result, e-waste derived from all over the university is prevented from being disposed in the environment, while allowing for the reuse of functional parts in recovered equipment that is used in social programs of digital inclusion.
CEDIR works under the UN guidelines for sustainable development and its activities are divided into 3 steps:
1) Collection and triage: Parts and equipments are collected and assessed for reuse. If that’s the case, then the functional product is borrowed to a social project, which should return it to CEDIR by the end of its lifecycle, thus guaranteeing that it will be recycled.
2) Categorization: The parts and products that failed the reuse triage and/or have reached the end of their lifecycle are weighed, disassembled and separated according to the material they are made of. Materials of the same type are then uncharacterized and compacted for transport.
3) Recycle: Categorized materials are stored until they are picked up by authorized recycling companies, specialized in materials such as plastic, metals or glass.
For now, the program attends only academic institutions linked to USP and individuals who want to donate personal equipment.