(Hello Africa) Tanzanian recycling firm launches digital platform for collecting dead car batteries-Xinhua

Allen Kimambo, the chief executive officer and founder of Zaidi Recyclers, displays the digital platform for collecting dead car batteries for recycling with a mobile phone in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Jan. 16, 2023. (Photo by Herman Emmanuel/Xinhua)

A Tanzanian recycling firm has launched a digital platform for collecting dead car batteries for recycling, saving the environment and humanity from harm.

DAR ES SALAAM, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) — A Tanzanian recycling firm has launched a digital platform for collecting dead car batteries for recycling, saving the environment and humanity from harm.

“Most of the dead batteries remain in backyards of houses with people not knowing what to do with them,” said Allen Kimambo, the chief executive officer and founder of Zaidi Recyclers, a digitally driven social innovative and incentive enterprise that enhances circular economy transition in Tanzania.

“Don’t get frustrated anymore when you have a dead car battery,” Kimambo said early this week shortly before his company launched the new service called NiBOOST with Zaidi App.

The campaign is part of the new digital platform called Zaidi App in the city of Dar es Salaam, he said.

Kimambo told Xinhua in an interview that his company saw this as an opportunity to launch a digital platform where users of batteries at their convenience in places like offices or homes can just request dead car batteries collection and earn money.

Allen Kimambo, the chief executive officer and founder of Zaidi Recyclers, speaks during an interview with Xinhua in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Jan. 16, 2023. (Photo by Herman Emmanuel/Xinhua)

“You go through the Zaidi App and can request NiBOOST services through WhatsApp, SMS or you can call. Once we get your call we come to you very quickly and you’re covered,” he said, noting that if one needs a new battery, the company guarantees the client to be supplied with a new and genuine battery.

Kimambo said the service is currently running in Dar es Salaam before it spreads to other major cities in the country such as Mwanza and Arusha.

He said Zaidi Recyclers is looking for partners to scale up this campaign, disclosing that the company has a partner in Zambia that has shown interest in doing what Zaidi Recyclers is doing.

According to Kimambo, most of the dead batteries are just dumped haphazardly, harming the environment and human beings instead of being delivered to proper recycling companies.

“Most People do not have the awareness of where to dispose of dead car batteries,” he said, explaining that the NiBOOST with Zaidi App campaign also works to create awareness of the seriousness of the dead car batteries in Tanzania.

With the collected batteries, Zaidi Recyclers has an agreement with professional recycling companies in Tanzania that collect the dead car batteries for recycling without harming the environment and the people.

Kimambo, a chemical and processing engineer by profession, said unsafe, informal lead battery recycling and handling can cause serious illness and even death as it causes lead contamination which ends up in surrounding soil and groundwater. Without appropriate awareness on this matter, these challenges can cause serious contamination issues to both humans and the environment, he said.

“When handled with the appropriate expertise, dead car batteries can be safely recycled to prevent these challenges and to encourage a circular economy approach to all material types. The plastic, lead and other parts of a car battery can be dismantled and used for other purposes, or disposed of safely,” said the CEO of Zaidi Recyclers which he founded in 2016.

On the Zaidi App, there are several solutions for other waste streams, including electronic and electric devices, car batteries, paper and toner cartridge waste, and it plans to have a garbage fee payment service in the near future.

“You can also exchange your dead battery for a new one and enjoy a quick boosting service when you’re stuck anywhere in the city,” he said.

Kimambo said solid waste generation has been steadily increasing in Dar es Salaam, noting that the Dar es Salaam City Council estimates that the city of Dar es Salaam could be generating more than 12,000 metric tons of solid waste per day by 2025.

He also said the global demand for electronic devices is exponentially growing, therefore increasing the waste generated from using these devices.

“E-waste pollutes soil and water once discarded in an inappropriate manner, but can also cause damage to human health and wellbeing including respiratory issues, oxidative stress, DNA damage and possibly causes various cancers,” said the chemical and processing engineer. 

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