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Survey ‘on ways of disposing of electronic waste’ in Kuwait

By Majd Othman

KUWAIT: A local study surveyed the percentage of awareness on ways of disposing of electronic waste in Kuwait, revealing 32.7 percent of people were keen to sort their electronic waste. It also showed the percentage of awareness and knowledge among people of the appropriate ways to dispose and recycle mobile phones was only 10 percent, according to Sabah Al-Ahmad Center for Environmental Training at Kuwait Environmental Protection Society.

Nawaf Al-Muwail, Supervisor of Training Programs at Sabah Al-Ahmad Center, told Kuwait Times that this survey aims to measure consumer awareness among the public, in addition to measuring knowledge of electronic waste disposal. He pointed out 10 separate questions were asked in both Arabic and English to 104 participants about methods of disposing electronic waste.

“The results showed that regarding ways of disposing electronic waste, 32.7 percent of participants sort their devices separately, while a few respondents answered they store them at home or break them and throw them in the garbage. Meanwhile, the study showed most participants expressed their desire to learn about the safest ways to get rid of electronic waste and the importance of correcting their knowledge of disposing damaged devices and electronics,” Muwail said.

Muwail said the study showed the electronic waste people would like to get rid of are wires, batteries, chargers, old mobile phones, computers, laptops and their accessories, CDs and computer flash drives. A high percentage of respondents answered they strongly agreed to participate in e-waste collection campaigns, if such campaigns are available,” he said.

Regarding respondents’ trust in specialized companies that recycle electronic devices, he pointed out that the trust level was low for them, which means participants need to increase their confidence in companies that recycle electronic waste.“Meanwhile, when we asked them about their knowledge of the fate of waste in Kuwait, the answer “I do not know” was the most selected, which indicates a lack of awareness among consumers regarding waste, which will result in mismanagement of consumption and large production of waste of all kinds,” Muwail said.

“Forty percent of respondents said they do periodic sorting at home and donate electronic items they don’t need; 9.6 percent said that they throw the items they don’t need, while 0.8 percent said they don’t throw them,” he said. Muwail pointed out respondents stressed the importance of collection points for electronic waste in cooperative societies and residential areas, in addition to intensification of awareness campaigns regarding the methods of getting rid of electronic waste.

“They also suggested adding this service to waste transport services at the Municipality and raising awareness about it, and providing larger containers for electronics and other categories in residential areas. They also emphasized on the awareness of the problem and its solutions through seminars in schools to increase awareness among students and including this information in educational curricula,” Muwail added.

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