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The management of e-waste in KwaZulu-Natal.

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Information Technology is seen as that which makes one's life easier, fun and more comfortable. When a new cellular phone is launched one is eager to see what the new phone has to offer, and often one convinces oneself that the new device is required. This study investigates what happens to redundant or obsolete electronic devices like cellular phones, computers and other electronic devices. Are these devices stored, donated, thrown out with the garbage or are they recycled? Information from academic sources and from all types of media, including television, print and electronic was searched to enhance the survey that was undertaken. Both the informal and formal sectors of recycling were investigated. A questionnaire was used to supplement the information found in different kinds of sources. The collected data was interpreted through the use of SPSS. Descriptive as well as inferential statistics was used to draw conclusions and make inferences. An investigation into legislation controlling the disposal of e-waste is included in this study. International, national, provincial and local government legislation is outlined. The objectives of recycling electronic waste are listed together with the challenges that face the pro-recyclers. The quantitative research methodology approach has been employed for this research. A key technique used in this study is the Research Onion. Data analysis and interpretation are based on the p-value, Pearson's chi-square and Spearman's correlation. The study has really been an eye opener in that it considers the “darker side” of Information Technology. The “darker side” of Information Technology refers to the disposal of obsolete or broken electronic devices in a manner that is harmful to the environment. The cost or lack of profit is the main driving force for incorrect disposal methods. This study has found that the best method of disposal is the take back system, where manufacturers of electronic devices are responsible for the safe disposal of the devices that they manufactured.


Thesis (M.Com.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville, 2010.


Electronic waste--KwaZulu-Natal., Electronic industries--Waste disposal., Electronic waste--Recycling--KwaZulu-Natal., Hazardous wastes--KwaZulu-Natal., Theses--Information systems and technology.