Qtel "Big Drop" event, which took place over the weekend, gathered nearly four tonnes of electronic waste in a single day, as people came from across Qatar to safely dispose and recycle electronics and household goods.
The event was organised to provide the community with a facility to dispose of larger e-waste items for recycling. Volunteers worked throughout the day to help people recycle their used equipment.
A total of 3840 kilograms of electronic waste – 3.84 metric tonnes – was left during the first event, far higher than expected by organisers.
Qtel provided a number of special recycling bins for people to leave their e-waste in the car-park of Landmark Mall in Doha, and help two shifts – one in the afternoon, one in the evening – so that people could drop off material at the time that best suited them.
Among the most popular items left for recycling were old computer monitors and printers – more than 120 monitors were deposited during the day. Equally, a high number of old computers and batteries were submitted for recycling.
These electronic goods contain plastics and heavy metals that could damage the environment if they were left in land-fill dumps. With the Big Drop programme, they will be shipped to a Basel Convention Certified recycling facility in Singapore and safely repurposed.
As well as computer equipment, the Big Drop also saw people leave a range of more unusual items. Volunteers collected rice cookers, water dispensers, vacuum cleaners and large iron pots among the items left for recycling.
Members of the public enthusiastically participated in the programme, and were joined by a number of major Qatari companies, who recycled office equipment through the Big Drop programme.
Qtel continues to offer recycling services in its shops across the country, where customers can drop-off mobile phones for recycling. It is working with a recycling service, Enviroserve, to help ensure the service reaches as many people as possible. To encourage participation in the programme, Qtel organises a draw every month, where someone who has recycled a mobile phone wins a prize such as an iPad, a Smartphone or Qtel services.
Qtel is also working with a number of corporate partners with its e-Waste Programme. It has signed an agreement with Qatari Diar Vinci Construction (QDVC), which provided support for the first Big Drop Day.
Given the success of the first event, Qtel will host a second big drop after Eid, to ensure that people can continue to safely dispose of unwanted electrical items.
Recycling E-waste responsibly is a major Qtel initiative, to help reduce the impact of e-Waste on the community in Qatar.