ABSTRACT

Environmental experts have expressed concern that e-waste is growing faster than recycling or reusing initiatives. Universities from developing countries often import used electronic and electrical equipment to improve student's access to technology. Lack of explicit action plans on handling e-waste and the absence of infrastructure in developing countries are significant challenges. The study examines students' awareness and attitudinal disposition to e-waste management practices at a Zimbabwean university. The research summarizes complex issues related to improper e-waste management in a developing country context, leading to environmental and health degradation. The researcher collected data from 216 students through an online questionnaire, and data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 26. The results show that the majority of the participants disposed of e-waste with municipal waste. The participants acknowledged that lack of awareness, lack of policies, unavailability of collection points, and recycling facilities were significant impairments to e-waste management. Being knowledgeable of the effects of e-waste on the environment and human health did not translate into appropriate e-waste management practices. The study challenges policymakers to develop e-waste policies and establish e-waste value chains that sustain the e-waste ecosystem. The University should establish local e-waste policies, identify designated e-waste collection points, and deploy primary recycling plants. The institution should launch e-waste clubs to create more awareness, knowledge, and positive attitudes toward e-waste management.

Developing countries have embraced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to enhance access to information related to health, education, commerce, and government-related services.1 The proliferation and use of ICTs presents many opportunities for developing countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.2 Chitotombe posits that ICTs offer enormous prospects for knowledge acquisition and connectedness, allowing developing countries to compete globally.3 The number of universities in Zimbabwe has doubled over the past two decades.4 This increase implies that the amount of e-waste generated by universities has more than doubled in the past decade. Additionally, the number and type of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) used to meet twenty-first-century teaching and learning have increased exponentially. Lack of clear action plans on handling e-waste, and the absence of infrastructure in developing countries are significant challenges.

Higher Education Institutions

Higher education institutions (HEIs) are constantly integrating ICTs such as networking devices for high-speed Internet, Internet of Things devices, and computing devices for processing large volumes of information. Many HEIs in Africa realize the benefits of ICT augmented teaching and learning. When face-to-face teaching is disrupted, lectures are delivered and mediated through ICTs, whereas communication between students and lecturers has become seamless and ubiquitous through computer networks.5 The Zimbabwean government has recently introduced Education 5.0 and is expected to invest in intelligent and context-aware devices to support automation and industrialisation.6 Due to economic decline, the closure of many companies has seen most university campuses having the highest concentration of computing devices and are grappling with managing the resultant e-waste.

The outbreak of COVID-19 forced educational institutions to suspend face-to-face teaching and use Internet-based tools to support remote-based teaching and learning. As educational institutions in developing countries rapidly adopt technology for online classes, EEE quickly reaches obsoleteness, causing health and environmental degradation if not appropriately managed. One study in Ethiopia revealed that educational institutions had large stocks of old and unserviceable EEE, contributing to high volumes of e-waste.7 Amankwah-Amoah reported that over 75% of the computers shipped from the West to Ghana were unserviceable, with some beyond repair and eventually dumped.8 Zimbabwe's economic challenges have forced many institutions to opt for cheap second-hand EEE from developed countries.9 Environmental experts and technologists have expressed concern about the accumulation of e-waste in developing countries, with no matching recycling or reusing.10 According to Mutsau et al., Zimbabwe does not have a policy framework for managing e-waste, and neither does it have the infrastructure for recycling.11

When EEE reaches its end of useful life and when new and better models of EEE are introduced, working EEE is often discarded as e-waste. E-waste is one of the fastest solid waste streams, growing at about 5% per annum, a rate that is three times greater than municipal waste.12 Developing nations have lagged behind in joining the global village and are rapidly adopting ICTs at a rate higher than the developed world. This has seen e-waste produced by the developing countries almost equal to that produced by the West.13 In many cases, second-hand EEE that is still usable gets mixed with e-waste and is exported under the guise of bridging the digital divide, and when improperly managed, poses environmental challenges.14 Moreover, developing countries have weak ecological governance laws and corrupt systems resulting in the continuous importation of nonfunctional used EEE, which is illegal under the Basel and the Bamako conventions, even though most countries are signatories.15 Most developing countries rely heavily on used EEE, which compounds the e-waste burden when devices reach their end of useful life.16

Studies have shown that e-waste contains harmful metals such as arsenic, mercury, and cadmium.17 These metals threaten human health as they can result in the poisoning of fetuses in pregnant women, liver infection, gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases, among others.18 Amankwah-Amoah reported that communities living near recycling sites often experience headaches, diarrhea, chest pains, skin irritations, water diseases, and stomach ulcers.19 Despite these severe effects on the environment and human health, the Zimbabwean government is yet to enact legislation to protect its citizens and the environment from e-waste hazards. There is also no data on the amount of imported second-hand EEE, the resultant e-waste, and disposal thereof due to ineffective administrative bodies and lack of resources.

Citizens from most African countries do not have adequate financial resources to acquire new EEE and have found second-hand EEE helpful for participating in the knowledge economy.20 Using second-hand EEE has positively impacted many African people through improved communication, access to health and educational information, and markets. Several organizations have been established worldwide to refurbish and redistribute used computers to educational institutions and not-for-profit institutions.21 In some cases, the imported second-hand EEE becomes e-waste before usage, as recipient countries lack facilities to maintain, repair, and recycle second-hand EEE.22 Kitila highlighted that most of the EEE exported to developing countries was unusable junk and eventually recycled through rudimentary and backyard processes that disregard environmental protection, and is often treated as general waste.23 This has been described as a more innovative way of dumping e-waste by the West to countries that do not have restrictive policies, and more often, disregard proper e-waste management procedures. Another study by Edumadze et al. revealed that many developing countries in the sub-Saharan region had become a digital dumping ground for the West.24 Nigeria's Ikeja and Alaba states have more than 2,500 small-scale businesses buying used computers and refurbishing them for resale.25 Zimbabwe continues to receive donations of used EEE to bridge the digital divide and procure cheaper second-hand EEE from the West to increase access to information.26 There is a dearth of research on e-waste management in Zimbabwe, and this article targets universities that are focal in churning out knowledge and future leaders. The rest of the article is structured as follows. The next section presents the aim, followed by the literature review and e-waste management at the institution. The methodology and data collection follow this; the subsequent section covers the results and discussion, and finally, the conclusion and recommendations.

Aim of the Study

The study examines students' level of awareness and attitudes regarding e-waste management practices at a Zimbabwean university. The aim is consistent with Olafisoye et al., who noted that education and legislation were crucial for effective e-waste management.27 Edumadze et al. observed a proliferation of university campuses in Ghana with little integration of e-waste management issues in the university curricula to raise awareness among the students.28 The study was motivated by Chitotombe, who concluded that Zimbabwe had no immediate plans to set up e-waste recycling facilities.29

Literature Review

Rapid industrialization has resulted in most EEE reaching their end of useful life in a shorter period and the swift introduction of newer and better models exacerbating e-waste challenges. EEE drives present-day knowledge-based economies, and a country's economic growth is correlated with ICT adoption.30 The lifespan of EEE is becoming shorter as there is an increased appetite for newer and modern technologies by consumers.31 The lifespan of EEE has drastically reduced from ten to five years in early 2000 to between two and three years32and will continue to decrease. These observations are similar to Agamuthu et al., who noted that a desktop computer's lifespan was three to four years and two years for laptops.33 Chitotombe referred to this phenomenon as the “built-in obsolescence” of EEE.34 Schluep et al. estimated that the average annual global e-waste was about 40 million tons35 and others scholars predicted that it would reach 50 million tons in 2018.36

There is uncontrolled dumping of millions of tons of unusable EEE in developing countries, which do not have regulations and technological expertise for effective management.37 Although other types of municipal waste are declining, e-waste is growing by 3.5% annually.38 As the world adopts more digital solutions due to the COVID-19, e-waste will become a significant environmental and health problem. Very few studies have been conducted in developing countries to determine the volume of imported e-waste. Acquah et al. noted that most developing countries do not have the appropriate technology and recycling infrastructure to effectively extract precious minerals embedded in e-waste.39 Gweme et al. stated that it was seemingly impossible to estimate the amount of e-waste generated in Zimbabwe and Zambia as illegal and informal players dominated the sector.40 Similarly, the lack of interest in regulating e-waste makes it impossible to quantify this scourge.41 Resultantly, Zimbabwe does not have official e-waste statistics.

The global e-waste economy was estimated to be 55 billion euros in 2017,42 and e-waste is 50 times richer than ores from mining in terms of minerals.43 Zimbabwe could harness this wealth by developing an e-waste recycling infrastructure. Tetteh and Lengel highlighted that most e-waste recycling in developing countries was informal and done by people with no skills and training for proper handling, who often resort to crude methods hazardous to the environment.44 Other scholars corroborated that developing countries used inefficient and wasteful practices, such as burning to recover valuable components and precious metals.45 E-waste workers in developing countries use ineffective elementary tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, and chisels.46 Some e-waste workers at Ghana Agbogbloshie's informal e-waste plant use primitive tools and, in some cases, bare hands and stones to extract metals such as copper and aluminum.47

In a related study, Arif and Afroz highlighted the lack of institutional framework and infrastructure for the proper management of e-waste.48 Lack of infrastructure for preprocessing and end-processing of e-waste, for example, was regarded as a significant challenge in managing e-waste.49 On the other hand, a lack of policies has resulted in an influx of used EEE into Zimbabwe at an alarming rate, making the country an e-waste graveyard. Chitotombe lamented that e-waste was being burnt daily at Magaba home industries in Harare, releasing toxic elements into the environment.50 Zimbabwe does not have a policy framework for e-waste management, and therefore, e-waste management is of no great concern.51

Several scholars concluded that improper handling of e-waste would lead to environmental degradation by releasing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and water bodies.52 Ghosh et al. revealed that e-waste was being collected and disposed of together with municipal waste in many developing countries.53 Nwagwu and Okuneye noted that this practice complicated the management of e-waste, as such practices were spread across different sites.54 Therefore, toxic substances from e-waste easily find their way into landfills and open dumps, polluting the environment. Coleman listed lead, cadmium, mercury, barium, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, selenium, and refractory oxides as the most poisonous chemicals released into the environment.55 In their study, Nwagwu and Okuneye highlighted that the indiscriminate disposal of e-waste affected grazing land for animals and the loss of productive land for farmers.56 Chitotombe revealed that Zimbabweans dumped e-waste in municipal dumps and landfills.57 If this dumping continues unabated, it will pollute water bodies and the environment, affecting human and animal health.

In many developing countries, e-waste recycling involves the uncontrolled burning of plastic casings to recover precious metals, leading to the release of toxic chemicals that contaminate groundwater and the atmosphere.58 This burning is done by unskilled and untrained people who do not mitigate the harmful effects of e-waste on the environment and human health.59 The release of these toxic chemicals threatens human health, with severe consequences to those who live near disposal and treatment sites. Several scholars have concluded that indiscriminate disposal of e-waste threatens the public health of local populations.60 Acquah et al. pointed out that e-waste workers relied on elementary tools such as chisels and hammers to extract valuable components and precious metals, leading to occupational hazards.61 Other scholars concluded that e-waste was responsible for congenital disabilities, infant mortality, and brain and organ disorders.62 Kitila reached a similar conclusion that e-waste was responsible for fetal loss, low birth weight, congenital malformations, and neurobehavioral disturbances.63 Exposure to e-waste metals through inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption adversely affects children's growth.64 Tetteh and Lengel confirmed that in many developing countries, e-waste workers were unskilled and resorted to using hazardous methods affecting their health.65 A study among Agbogbloshie's e-waste workers in Ghana revealed that some had suffered life-threatening injuries as well as respiratory complications due to smoke exposure.66 Olafisoye et al. proposed establishing modern e-waste disposal facilities whose sites should be far from human settlements to minimize the inhalation of toxic fumes from e-waste.67

Although the volume of e-waste in developing countries is increasing, very few countries have enacted specific legislation and acquired appropriate infrastructure for recycling. Arif and Afroz noted that many developing countries lacked relevant regulations to manage e-waste.68 Olafisoye et al. argued that lack of an appropriate legal framework led to improper management of e-waste resulting in environmental damage.69 Kitila reiterated that many developing countries did not have policies and safeguards to dispose of e-waste, causing environmental and health hazards properly.70 Ghosh et al. highlighted that the absence of policies and appropriate handling procedures in many developing countries meant that e-waste was being collected and disposed of together with municipal waste.71 Lack of legislation, skills, and proper infrastructure has resulted in practicing crude methods to recycle e-waste in developing countries.72 Urmila et al. contended that the absence of national e-waste policies significantly impacted the use of other management systems such as formal take-back, subsidies, and infrastructure.73

At the time of this study, Zimbabwe does not have specific policies, skill set, and infrastructure to properly recycle and dispose of e-waste in an environmentally sustainable manner, as was noted by Chitotombe.74 Zimbabwe's Environmental Waste Management Act (20:27), which established the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), was enacted to curb hazardous waste disposal into the environment. However, this act does not explicitly deal with the management of e-waste.75 Thus, e-waste is collected and disposed of together with municipal waste. Mutsau et al. noted that the Zimbabwean government had not prioritized e-waste management due to the unavailability of specific laws.76 As Baldé et al. reported, the state of affairs in developing countries is worrying, and globally, e-waste management is a top priority in developed countries.77 Chitotombe concluded that e-waste management in Zimbabwe was still in the infancy stage.78 Therefore, more research should be conducted in Zimbabwe to influence policymakers into enacting effective e-waste management policies.

The number of universities increased from 17,036 in 2009 to 28,077 in 2018 globally.79 The past few years have witnessed an increase in students enrolled at HEIs in Africa. This increase resulted in a surge in the use of ICTs to support twenty-first-century education.80 The rapid adoption of ICTs has seen HEIs significantly investing in high-speed networks to support their vision and mission.81 Most universities in Africa have not crafted strategies to deal with the resultant e-waste. A study in Nigeria revealed that educational institutions, businesses, and government departments were significant sources of e-waste.82 Kitila reported that educational institutions in Ethiopia had amassed large volumes of broken and unserviceable EEE, worsening the e-waste burden in a country without national and institutional policies for e-waste management.83 Edumadze et al. noted that the level of e-waste at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana had increased, yet little effort was channelled toward creating awareness among students.84 Arif and Afroz noted that lack of institutional framework and infrastructure unavailability resulted in improper e-waste management at a university in Iraq.85 In a study at some Australian universities, Chibunna et al. concluded that e-waste collection points on campus should be more accessible and recycling infrastructure installed to manage e-waste effectively.86 After setting up infrastructure and collection points, the University of Sydney recycled over 120 tons of e-waste.87

An evaluation of e-waste management at the Delta State University in Nigeria revealed that the entire system was inefficient, and the unavailability of institutional policies worsened e-waste management challenges.88 The University of the Cape Coast invested in e-waste management initiatives after receiving a USD250,000.00 grant to build recycling infrastructure.89 Some universities have partnered with private recyclers through internal e-waste collection; for example, Columbia University collected 40.5 metric tons, while Indiana University collected 63.5 metric tons.90 Zimbabwean universities and other institutions could set up designated e-waste collection points to encourage proper disposal.

Studies in the United States have shown that university students aged 18 to 29 years top social media tools use.91 Edumadze et al. suggested that student activists could use social media to raise awareness and promote e-waste management among their peers.92 A study by Chibunna et al. in Malaysia proved that e-waste awareness among university students was low at about 30%.93 More strategies are required to ensure that students receive education on e-waste management. Nwagwu and Okuneye reported a correlation between awareness and the students' sex and class after examining students' perceptions regarding e-waste in Nigeria.94 Edumadze et al. suggested e-waste campaigns on campus as a tool to raise awareness and instill a culture that promotes effective management.95 These studies reveal that the student's level of awareness and knowledge impacted e-waste management practices.

E-Waste Management at the Institution

The last decade saw over 50% of HEIs established in Zimbabwe, including University A. The institution has embraced educational technologies to support twenty-first-century learning, and this has dramatically increased e-waste output. Dwindling financial support has seen University A acquiring cheaper used EEE from ComputerAid, a nonprofit organization based in the United Kingdom that sells refurbished computers. The institution has about 2,500 computing devices for faculty, administrative use, and within student computer laboratories across its two campuses. The University has general ICT policies that do not specifically deal with e-waste. The University often disposes of obsolete unusable computers through auctions to its staff members and the public. About 400 computers become outdated or unusable annually, and thousands of used consumables such as cartridges contribute to the e-waste burden. Some of the used EEE is beyond repair and not usable and is stored in the institution's storerooms. University A repairs most malfunctioning computers or salvages reusable components from those that have become obsolete.

Methodology

The study adopted the quantitative method to analyze students' awareness and attitudinal disposition toward the management of e-waste at University A in Zimbabwe. Previous studies have focused on hazardous waste management in Zimbabwe.96 University A is located in province X and has a student population of about 5,000. Students enrolled across different academic disciplines in the 2019/2020 academic year provided the study's sample. A total of 400 students were randomly selected to participate in the study. From the 400 questionnaires distributed, 216 students completed it, giving a response rate of 54%. SPSS 26.0 statistical package was used for data analysis to reveal reliability and associations such as correlation.

Data Collection Instrument and Data Analysis

Information was gathered from the students using a structured questionnaire with four main sections. The first section covered the demographics of the students, such as age, sex, number and type of EEE owned, and study area. The remaining part used a 5-point Likert scale where “1” represented “Strongly Disagree” to a “5” representing “Strongly Agree.” The second section focused on the knowledge and attitudes of the students. The third section focused on the student's behavioral intention toward positive e-waste management, and the remaining part sought to gather information on e-waste management barriers. The participants consented to participate in the study and were informed of their rights to withdraw. Data collected was treated with confidentiality. The researcher tested the questionnaire's scales for reliability using Cronbach's alpha, and the average score was 0.88. Thus, the scales were usable in the study.

Results and Discussion

The demographics of the respondents show that 58.3% were female, whereas 41.7% were male, 38.9% were in the age group 18 to 25 years, whereas 31.5% were in the range 26 to 30 years, and 29.6% were over 30 years. The majority (75.9%) of respondents were undergraduate students, whereas 24.1% were postgraduate students. Almost every student (97.9%) owned a mobile phone, whereas 38% owned more than one mobile phone, 68% had access to a laptop device, and 8% had access to a fixed telephone. This study's high mobile phone ownership rates resonate with findings by other scholars, who established that mobile phone ownership was highest among college students.97 The study results show that only 40% of the students were knowledgeable about e-waste, whereas 60% were not. These results are similar to Chen and Yee's, who noted that 30% of the students were aware of e-waste.98 Chibunna et al. recommended that more strategies be put in place to ensure that students are knowledgeable about e-waste and its threat to the environment and human health.99

Reasons for EEE Replacement

TABLE 1
Reasons for EEE Replacement
FrequencyPer cent
Loss of function 110 51.2 
Physical damage  65 30.2 
The desire for the latest product with greater functionality  80 37.4 
FrequencyPer cent
Loss of function 110 51.2 
Physical damage  65 30.2 
The desire for the latest product with greater functionality  80 37.4 

About half (51.2%) of the students replaced their EEE once it had lost its functionality, whereas a third (30.2%) replaced EEE due to physical damage, as shown in Table 1. Just over a third (37.4%) of the participants replaced their EEE after the release of a newer model with better functionality. The results are similar to observations by Ercan and Bilen, who noted that 52.0% of students preferred to replace a product that is no longer usable instead of getting it repaired.100

The majority (97.2%) of the students indicated that they were unaware of any national e-waste policies. About 94.9% of the students indicated that they were not aware of institutional e-waste policies. This low awareness is consistent with observations by other scholars, who noted that the absence of e-waste legislation hindered students' efforts to manage e-waste at an Ethiopian university.101 Similarly, Nwagwu, Okuneye, and Gweme et al. noted that the lack of national and institutional policies was a significant deterrent to effective e-waste management.102 Another study in Ethiopia by Kitila observed that the lack of recyclers and disposal methods resulted in the piles of e-waste in storerooms.103 Regarding e-waste collection points for recycling, 92.6% of the participants indicated that the unavailability of designated e-waste collection points hindered significant collection. Several scholars corroborate these findings by noting that the absence of recycling facilities and collection points were significant impediments to effective e-waste management.104

E-Waste Disposal Method

TABLE 2
E-Waste Disposal Method
FrequencyPer cent
Valid Discarded with trash 136  63.4 
Sent for recycling   2   0.9 
Kept them at home  31  14.4 
Auction  21   9.8 
Sold to scrap dealers  25  11.6 
Total 215 100.0 
FrequencyPer cent
Valid Discarded with trash 136  63.4 
Sent for recycling   2   0.9 
Kept them at home  31  14.4 
Auction  21   9.8 
Sold to scrap dealers  25  11.6 
Total 215 100.0 

Table 2 shows that a total of 63.4% of the students disposed of their used EEE together with municipal waste. In a similar study, Nwagwu and Okuneye established that 80% of the respondents disposed of their e-waste together with municipal waste.105 Although 67.4% of the participants were knowledgeable of the severe effects of e-waste on the environment, this did not positively influence their e-waste management practices. Agwu observed that e-waste management practices were related to the student's awareness and knowledge of e-waste.106 In examining the attitudes of e-waste dealers in Nigeria, Nwagwu and Okuneye concluded that high levels of awareness did not correlate to appropriate management and disposal of e-waste.107 Similarly, Edumadze et al. found that while students were aware of the environmental impact of e-waste, they did not practice proper e-waste management.108 Only 22% of the students were aware of some hazardous materials in e-waste. This is similar to Deniz et al., who observed that 17.6% of the students at Adnan Menderes University could classify e-waste as hazardous waste.109

About 14.4% of the respondents kept e-waste in their homes, 11.6% sold it to scrap dealers, and 0.9% sent e-waste for recycling. Arif and Afroz observed that 16% of respondents at an Iraqi University kept used EEE in their home, whereas 5% sent it for recycling.110 In their study at a Malaysian University, Deniz et al. observed that 51.3% of the students kept used EEE at their homes.111 Agamuthu et al. also observed a trend by university students who disposed of e-waste in trash cans together with municipal waste.112 In a similar study, Arif and Afroz noted that 39% of respondents threw used EEE in the bin.113 Chitotombe found evidence of dumping e-waste in industrial and municipal waste at some dumpsites in Harare.114 In a related study, Olafisoye et al. recommended establishing modern disposal facilities that distinguish between ordinary waste and e-waste.115

Factors Mitigating Against E-Waste Management

TABLE 3
Factors Mitigating Against E-Waste Management
FrequencyPer cent
Lack of awareness 173 80.5 
Lack of national and institutional policy 189 87.9 
Lack of finances  43 20.0 
Lack of recycling infrastructure  40 18.6 
FrequencyPer cent
Lack of awareness 173 80.5 
Lack of national and institutional policy 189 87.9 
Lack of finances  43 20.0 
Lack of recycling infrastructure  40 18.6 

Students selected top factors that were mitigating against e-waste management at University A, and as shown in Table 3, 87.9% highlighted the lack of national and institutional policies. Similarly, Ogbomo et al. observed that about 50% of the respondents observed that lack of policies hindered e-waste management.116 About 80.5% of the participants attributed e-waste management challenges to lack of awareness, whereas lack of finances accounted for 20%, and lack of infrastructure had 18.6%. The study had some limitations. The research was conducted during COVID-19, resulting in the use of a small sample. Therefore, the results may not be readily generalisable, and a multi-university study with a larger sample may yield better results.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This study sought to establish awareness, attitudinal disposition, and e-waste management practices of University A students. Though the environmental and health effects of e-waste are known, e-waste management is not a topical issue in Zimbabwe; therefore, no effective strategies have been crafted to manage it. The study sought to contribute to the literature on e-waste management in Zimbabwe and offer practical solutions to HEIs to minimize the harsh impact on human health and the environment. Almost all the students highlighted that they were unaware of any national and institutional policies that guided e-waste collection and disposal. The results show that the students did not practice disposal methods considered safe in protecting the environment and human health. Over two-thirds of the students were aware of the hazardous effects of e-waste on the environment and human health. Nevertheless, they disposed of e-waste together with municipal garbage. The findings contrast with observations by Agwu, whose results revealed that e-waste management practices are related to students' awareness and knowledge of e-waste.117

Through its EMA, the Government of Zimbabwe should enact specific national policies that promote the management of e-waste, which will provide a framework for local institutions to craft their procedures. Gweme et al. also highlighted that lack of national policies hindered local institutions from Zimbabwe and Zambia from establishing policies to regulate the internal disposal of e-waste.118 The findings are similar to observations by Chibunna et al., who concluded that sustainable e-waste management is only possible through support from specific regulations.119

University A should establish e-waste management procedures to raise awareness and control some ICT acquisition decisions to manage the university's digital footprint. The study recommends the infusion of e-waste management in some of the general courses taken by all students to raise awareness and help manage e-waste. Other concepts such as Green Computing could be introduced in HEIs as compulsory courses to stimulate innovation that could see the production of EEE that contain fewer toxic chemicals. This is also in line with recommendations by Olafisoye et al., who pointed out that education and legislation were key pillars to effective e-waste management and reduced e-waste-related problems.120

The government should create a conducive environment that enables Private–Public Partnerships (PPP) to establish e-waste recycling value chains, thereby minimizing the harsh impact on human health and the environment. Universities could set up designated e-waste collection points at strategic points within the campus and mini recycling plants that serve surrounding communities. Policymakers and stakeholders should partner and develop policies that promote the sustainable management of e-waste across the entire ecosystem. Stiffer penalties on second-hand EEE importers who illegally bring in e-waste disguised as reusable EEE should be encouraged. This was noted by Olafisoye et al., who contended that there must be a ban on the importation of damaged electronics that are beyond repair.121 The study recommends establishing e-waste clubs to create more awareness and positive e-waste management.

FOOTNOTES

1.

Baldé et al., 24.

2.

Ryder, and Zhao.

3.

Chitotombe, 2175.

4.

Webometrics.

5.

Coleman.

6.

MHTEsTD.

7.

Kitila, “Electronic Waste Management in Educational Institutions,” 321.

8.

Amankwah-Amoah, 24.

9.

Chitotombe, 2171.

10.

Bimir; Vusumuzi and Mfowabo, 9.

11.

Mutsau, Billiat, and Musingafi, 85.

12.

Kitila, 322; Arif and Afroz, 23; Amankwah-Amoah, 23.

13.

Baldé et al., 40; Vusumuzi and Maphosa, 2; Bimir.

14.

Amankwah-Amoah, 23.

15.

Maphosa and Maphosa, 11; Bimir.

16.

Kitila, 322.

17.

Amankwah-Amoah, 25.

18.

Pinto, 5.

19.

Amankwah-Amoah, 27.

20.

Omobowale.

21.

Coleman, 62.

22.

Nganji and Brayshaw.

23.

Kitila, 322.

24.

Edumadze et al., 225.

25.

Nwagwu and Okuneye.

26.

Chitotombe, 2173.

27.

Olafisoye, Adefioye, and Osibote, 1437.

28.

Edumadze et al., 233-233.

29.

Chitotombe, 2183.

30.

Premalatha, Abbasi, and Abbasi, 1584.

31.

Pinto, 1.

32.

Agamuthu, Kasapo, and Nordin, 1582.

33.

Agamuthu et al., 177.

34.

Chitotombe, 2172.

35.

Schluep et al., 8.

36.

Menikpura, Santo, and Hotta; Balde et al.

37.

Bakhiyi et al., 178.

38.

Kitila, 320.

39.

Acquah et al., 4.

40.

Gweme et al., 4.

41.

Mutsau et al., 85.

42.

Baldé et al., 7.

43.

Amankwah-Amoah, 24.

44.

Tetteh and Lengel, 36.

45.

Olafisoye et al., 1431.

46.

Kitila, 321.

47.

Amankwah-Amoah, 18.

48.

Arif and Afroz, 23.

49.

Urmilla, Padayachee, and Mark, 338.

50.

Chitotombe, 2180.

51.

Mutsau, 86.

52.

Nwagwu, and Okuneye, 269; Coleman, 62; Olafisoye et al., 1436; Arif and Afroz, 21.

53.

Ghosh et al.

54.

Nwagwu and Okuneye, 271.

55.

Coleman, 65.

56.

Nwagwu and Okuneye, 269.

57.

Chitotombe, 2183.

58.

Olafisoye et al.

59.

Tetteh and Lengel, 36; Sabrina and Dabo.

60.

Arif and Afroz; Lundgren; Kitila, 321; Olafisoye et al.; Nwagwu and Okuneye.

61.

Acquah et al., 6.

62.

Nwagwu and Okuneye; Xu et al.

63.

Kitila, 321.

64.

Olafisoye et al., 1437.

65.

Tetteh and Lengel, 35.

66.

Acquah et al.

67.

Olafisoye et al.

68.

Arif and Afroz, 23.

69.

Olafisoye et al.

70.

Kitila, 321.

71.

Ghosh et al.

72.

Tetteh and Lengel, 36.

73.

Urmila et al., 337.

74.

Chitotombe, 2181.

75.

EMA.

76.

Mutsau et al., 85.

77.

Baldé et al., 72.

78.

Chitotombe, 2171.

79.

Webometrics; Chibunna et al., 644.

80.

Coleman, 62.

81.

Chibunna, 646.

82.

Nwagwu and Okuneye, 269.

83.

Kitila, 327.

84.

Edumadze et al., 227.

85.

Arif and Afroz, 22.

86.

Chibunna et al., 645.

87.

Agamuthu et al., 178.

88.

Ogbomo et al.

89.

Oteng-Ababio, van der Velden, and Taylor.

90.

Agamuthu et al., 179.

91.

Dahlstrom and Bichsel, 21.

92.

Edumadze et al., 233.

93.

Chibunna et al., 647.

94.

Nwagwu and Okuneye, 271.

95.

Edumadze et al.

96.

Chitotombe, 2179; Mutsau et al., 84-87.

97.

Robles et al.; Prensky.

98.

Chen and Haw.

99.

Chibunna et al., 648.

100.

Ercan and Bilen, 19.

101.

Kitila, 321.

102.

Nwagwu and Okuneye, 279; Gweme et al., 6.

103.

Kitila, 327.

104.

Chibunna et al., 647.

105.

Nwagwu and Okuneye, 275.

106.

Deniz, Aydın, and Kiraz.

107.

Agwu, 89.

108.

Edumadze et al., 231.

109.

Deniz, 102.

110.

Arif and Afroz, 22.

111.

Deniz et al., 104.

112.

Chitotombe, 2178

113.

Agamuthu et al., 23.

114.

Arif and Afroz, 21.

115.

Olafisoye et al., 1434.

116.

Ogbomo, Obuh, and Ibolo.

117.

Agwu, 89.

118.

Gweme et al., 6.

119.

Chibunna et al., 644.

120.

Olafisoye et al., 1437. 

121.

Gweme et al., 1437.

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