Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Projects & Results Service
  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EWIT (EWIT: Developing an e-waste implementation toolkit to support the recycling and the secondary raw material recovery strategies in metropolitan areas in Africa)

EWIT Report Summary

Project ID: 641660
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EWIT (EWIT: Developing an e-waste implementation toolkit to support the recycling and the secondary raw material recovery strategies in metropolitan areas in Africa)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Raw materials’ supply is an increasing concern on global scale. The European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials is an EC initiative aimed to encourage the development of multi-stakeholders networks for raw materials recovery. The E-waste implementation Toolkit - EWIT project has been developed in this context: the project is conceived as a Europe-Africa cooperation initiative aimed to implement a toolkit bringing best practices and successful case-studies together in the field of e-waste management for Africa and Europe. An environmentally sound management of e-waste will ensure a greater protection of human health and environment, as well as the recovery of secondary raw materials.
In detail, Vienna (Austria) and Choma (Zambia), Oporto (Portugal) and Kisii (Kenya), Florence (Italy) and Johannesburg (South Africa), Antwerp (Belgium) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast) are the targeted twinned metropolitan areas where the project takes off. During a first step, e-waste data in the targeted areas are collected and analyzed in accordance with four thematic pillars: e-waste collection, e-waste processing technology, e-waste system legislation and financing, and circular economy for e-waste. Solutions to common problems are then discussed in a secondary stage and included within a toolkit, which takes the form of a web portal. The toolkit is a dynamic and easy-to-use information and service portal that would serve policy makers to get guidance and practical support for the design and development of smart e-waste collection and recycling systems.
The EWIT project has the following main goals:
1) Short term goals:
- A comprehensive and effective mapping of the requirements of African metropolitan areas related to e-waste management.
- A structured collection and analysis of the most relevant experiences, best practices, processes and tools provided by key stakeholders – both from Africa and Europe – representing the whole value chain
- The implementation of a dynamic and easy to use information and service portal (the e-waste toolkit) that will offer guidance and practical support for the design and development of smart e-waste collection and recycling systems
2) Long term goals:
- Increase environment and health protection
- Keep current jobs (informal sector), while improving their effectiveness and working conditions
- Maximize recycling opportunities to generate economic value and new jobs
- Establish a platform to generate synergies between African and European municipalities and governments related to technology transfer and e-waste flows monitoring and control
- Collect available reliable data on waste generated in terms of quantity, patterns of arising, material content, future trends, environmental impact and economic recovery potential
- Define and develop the conditions, actions and business case necessary to implement effective waste recycling systems in metropolitan areas
- Develop standards, benchmarks and best practice references to drive improvements in the collection, recycling and recovery of materials across Africa.

The short- and long- term goals translate in the official goals for the EWIT project:
- Objective a) To develop a comprehensive mapping of the baseline data and capacity of African metropolitan areas related to e-waste management.
- Objective b) To collect and analyse the most relevant experiences, best practices, processes and legal tools representing the whole value chain, provided by key stakeholders from both Europe and Africa.
- Objective c) To develop a dynamic and easy to use information and service portal (the “E-waste implementation Toolkit”) that will offer guidance and practical support for the design and development of smart e-waste collection and recycling systems.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In the first year of the project, the first round of the “Twin Cities Workshops” was completed. These are workshops where an African city and its partnering “twin” European city meet, to collect information on the specific context and share experience. The workshops were held in Choma (Zambia), partner of Vienna (Austria); in Kisi (Kenya), partner of Oporto (Portugal); in Johannesburg (South Africa), partner of Florence (Italy); in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), partner of Antwerp (Belgium). (These activities are related to WP1).
The goal of the TCWs was to frame the baseline scenarios in the African target areas concerning local e-waste management systems and try to get potential solutions via brainstorming sections with a group of experts and referents of the European twin cities. The main output of the workshops were Master Plans for the African cities, where local issues and potential solutions were identified together with short, medium and long-term goals for the municipality to set a sound e-waste management system.
A second round of the TCWs was held on May and June 2016, in the European twin cities: their goal was to share all the information eventually gathered both from the African partners and from the experts, and to define an ‘Action plan’ for each of the target African areas. These documents select specific goals from the Master Plans of each African twin city and detail the relevant actions to achieve them into agreed deadlines.
Information and additional documentation was then evaluated by a pool of experts, with a specific focus on four pillars: “Collection”, “Closing the Loop”, “Technology” and “Financing and Legislation”. The experts met to discuss and define the master plans for the four African cities in four Expert Modelling Workshops, respectively in Johannesburg (South Africa), for the pillars “Collection” and “Closing the Loop”; in Vienna (Austria), for “Technology”; in Rome (Italy), for “Financing and Legislation”. An additional “Plenary Session” was then agreed, held in Vienna (Austria), to share the information among experts from the different pillars. (These activities are related to WP2).
The goal of the EMWs was to share the information gathered during the TCWs and contained in the Master Plans and elaborate them from the 4 pillars perspective. Thanks to this methodology, common issues and potential common solutions were further elaborated and, drawing from the 4 target areas, ‘typical scenarios’ of e-waste management systems were identified and inserted in the toolkit in order to became reference examples for additional contexts to find solutions and cues of improvement.
As long as the TCWs and the EMWs were proceeding, the EWIT portal and the toolkit were progressively fed by the information collected. Data were structured within a tool called the ‘Knowledge Base’, mostly based on the Material Flow Analysis approach. Along with it, the KB web interface and a querying system were also developed.
The EWIT Web Portal was thus designed. A first beta release was delivered, while the delivery partners were discussing the details of the final version. The latter contains pieces of information coming from the specific context and referring to the pillars. It gives the user the possibility to consult the Knowledge Base through a specific advanced querying interface. A “Wizard”, then, brings the user across a self-evaluation test of the context of reference, giving preliminary information on potential solutions to improve the e-waste management system. (Activities are related to WP3).
The goal of the portal is to provide potential external users – typically policy makers and local authorities from a developing context–, information on how to set/improve their e-waste management systems. This is done sharing relevant information on the reference context and the best is also supported by formulating a query via the ‘Wizard’. The portal does also offer information on several aspects of e-waste management for other types of users (e.g. generic, academia, ONGs, …) which would result into a set of guidelines and useful operative tips. In depth information can then be retrieved from a “Knowledge Base” section, where an advanced searching mechanism is also available.
A fourth work package is dedicated to dissemination and divulgation activities and to the promotion of the results of the EWIT project. Under this WP4, conferences will be held in the target areas as well as in Bruxelles, headquarter of the EC, and Addis Ababa, headquarter of the African Union. Their purpose is sharing the main EWIT outputs and presenting the portal functionalities. Additional dissemination events are also planned, as the participation to other relevant conferences both in Europe and Africa.
The Project Management is ongoing, since the very beginning of the EWIT project.
The Project Management structure described in the Grant Agreement has been fully implemented, with an Advisory Committee – the steering committee of the project –, established at a meeting in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on last April 2015, at the African Union Commission’s premises. Members of the Advisory Committee are listed in the table below.
Communication with the Advisory Committee occurs on a regular basis. The Advisory Committee also gathered for a second meeting online. Another meeting is expected on next September 2016.
Periodic “Project Board Meetings” have been held on a regular basis, as well, (online, via the GoToMeeting conferencing system), along with meetings on specific topics, face to face and online.
Also a meeting involving the EWIT Consortium has been arranged online, via the GoToMeeting platform.
Agendas, supporting documentation and Minutes are available for each of these meetings, through the shared file system (EWIT project Dropbox folder).
Planning activities are ongoing for the second reporting period of the project. (Activities of WP5).

Main outcomes. The TCWs and EMWs represented the ground for deep discussions on several aspects of e-waste management. The most recurrent issues and those deserving a special focus were various:
- The acknowledgement of the informal sector as a relevant system which should be integrated as much as possible in any potential new ‘formalized’ system;
- The exigence of including programs of training and education on the health and environmental issues implied in e-waste management. This awareness campaigns should be targeted both to the e-waste sector employees and the vast public. Equally, also institutions should be educated on the importance of setting a sound system of waste management.
- Discussions on how to financially support the development of an e-waste system bring about a deeper reflection on the concept of EPR, its different applications and the role stakeholders like local authorities and producers can have in contributing to the system.
- The need of setting a EEE and WEEE data management system was widely recognized as a fundamental step enabling the concerned partners to make long-terms considerations on the development of an e-waste management system.
- Legislative-related matters were also under the lens of the EWIT analysis. Particularly, e-waste specific law implementation and enforcement steps were discussed.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

1. The network of stakeholders involved in the project increased as well as the members of the Advisory Committee, from 9 to 14 institutions overall.
2. The dissemination conferences planned to be held in the target cities of Kisii and Choma will be integrated with additional conferences. In Kenya a conference will be held il Nairobi, the Capital. In Zambia an additional (or a replacement) conference will be held in Livingston. Additional international entities from several African Countries will be involved to ensure a major catchment area.
3. The informal sector in the African target cities has demonstrated a deep capacity of e-waste management as well as an employment capacity beyond the expectations. For these reasons, one of the main goal of the cities’ Action Plans is currently to ‘upgrade’ the already existent informal sector despite limiting to formalise a new system.
4. In Africa the ‘reuse’ sector has shown to be much more developed than what it’s actually in Europe. This has revealed to be a hint for further reflections from the European side to tailor a best fit solution.

Related information

Record Number: 192956 / Last updated on: 2016-12-16
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top