28 May 2018
Hebron, Palestine
Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management
Electronic waste is becoming a global problem, with grave environmental and public health implications. In Palestine, entrepreneur Tasneem Abuhijleh is setting up Tafkeek (Arabic for “dismantling”), an e-waste disposal facility that aims to connect e-waste generators in Palestine with recycling companies abroad. Abuhijleh is one of the 24 entrepreneurs selected for the incubation phase of the SwitchMed Green Entrepreneurship Program.

According to the UN, around 40 million tons of e-waste accumulates globally per year. E-waste stands out from other kinds of waste because it contains various hazardous substances and toxic chemicals. If incorrectly handled, e-waste can heavily pollute the environment and endanger human health.

Idhna, a town outside Hebron the West Bank, receives vast quantities of e-waste. ¨E-waste is currently disposed of in an open field,” claimed Abuhijleh. “Valuable materials such as nickel, copper, and lead are extracted, and the remaining non-valuable waste is left to contaminate the land.” She added that extraction methods lead to toxic emissions, soil and water contamination, and inefficient recovery of precious metals.

While Abuhijleh was researching e-waste for her Master’s thesis, she started thinking about starting her own business for e-waste recycling. This is when SwitchMed came in. Since joining the program, Abuhijleh is receiving 40 hours of face-to-face support from local mentor Baher Dikeidek to develop her green business plan.  Abuhijleh will also receive specialized technical assistance from other experts during the incubation phase.

“I have made a lot of progress thanks to the program,” Abuhijleh said. “For instance, I was introduced to the founder and owner of Collectun D3E, Ines Temimi, a Switcher that recycles electronic waste in Tunisia.”

Under Abuhijleh’s business plan, a monthly collection system will be set up to gather electronic equipment from large buildings, companies and repair shops. Tafkeek’s dismantling facility will then extract the valuable materials in a sustainable way, before selling the end product to recycling companies.

Abuhijleh hopes that Tafkeek’s will avoid future dumping of e-waste in landfill sites, cementing a long-term solution for Palestine. “In the end, the main goal is to develop a formal e-waste recycling market in West Bank.”

 

Learn more about Tafkeek through the website and Facebook.

Tafkeek Resource Efficiency & Sustainable Waste Management
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