As the number of initiatives focusing on improving energy access for displaced and host communities increases, so does the quantity of electronic waste (e-waste) in displacement settings. However, most of the e-waste ends up unused, buried, burned, or informally disposed of on the ground. The lack of proper e-waste management practices in displacement settings poses health and environmental hazards due to leaking batteries or exposure to heavy metals within off-grid solar products.
Triggered by NORCAP’s interest in providing specialist support on the e-waste in displacement settings topic, this study defines e-waste from solar products, identifies several e-waste management tools for humanitarian organisations, highlighting the importance of circular economy principles, lists an overview of keys actors and ongoing projects, and provides a reflection on the findings and recommendations for key actors.
The recommendations from the report can be summarised as below.
- Coordination of e-waste activities within the humanitarian sector;
- Advocacy for an enabling environment through an appropriate regulatory framework;
- Sustainable procurement guidelines for electronic products purchased by humanitarian organisations;
- Establishment of proper repair, recycling, and disposal infrastructure in displacement settings;
- Manufacturers to design repairable products with longer lifetimes;
- Inclusion of e-wase management strategy in energy programming; and
- Capacity building and livelihoods activities for the displacement affected communities.