The use of technological devices has become a fundamental need for humans. Their characteristics allow access to goods and services throughout of the world, thus achieving their interconnection. However, these devices, despite being novel and functional, have become a problem for the environment and public health by the lack of proper management and final disposal. (UIT, 2007).
In response and with the aim to strengthen its commitment to the country, Computadores para Educar implements a strategic line of use, which seeks to contribute to the development of responsible environmental management. The above promoted the creation of the National Center for the Use of Electronic Waste (Cenare, as per its acronym in Spanish) in 2007, which takes advantage of and properly manages electronic waste generated in the collection process of equipment from public education institutions to prevent the harmful effects to the environment caused by them. Since 2010, Computadores para Educar has an environmental license that includes handling all electronic devices delivered by the program
Through this strategy, Computadores para Educar guarantees the return of material from obsolete electronic devices to production processes, which results in a positive impact, reducing the generation of greenhouse gases (responsible for climate change) and water and power consumption, in addition to avoiding pollution of rivers, seas, forests, among others.
To meet this purpose, the Program works on two (2) components: Collection and Demanufacture.
Collection is a component of social and environmental responsibility, through which computer equipment that has reached its useful after three (3) or four (4) years of being delivered by the Program to beneficiary public institutions of the country, is collected. The equipment is taken to the National Center for the Use of Electronic Waste, CENARE, with the aim to perform its environmental management.
Demanufacture consists in the manual dismantling or demanufacturing and classification of obsolete electronic equipment (screens, CPUs, etc.) received in CENARE from the collection process or as an excess of the reconditioning process. Products obtained from demanufacture include: clean currents (ferrous metals, copper, aluminum, among others); waste electrical and electronic equipment – WEEE (hard drives, CD-ROM units, etc.); potential hazardous waste – RESPEL as per its acronym in Spanish (batteries, cathode ray tubes – CRTs, printed circuit boards - PCB, etc.). Manual demanufacturing allows social inclusion through the generation of employment.
The strategy of electronic waste management of Computadores para Educar has been awarded in the environmental field and has become a reference at the international level. Also, due to its knowledge is the representative of Colombia before the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) within the framework of question 8/2 “Strategies and policies for the proper disposal or reuse telecommunications/ICT waste material.” In this group, Computadores para Educar shares its experience and requirements for continuous improvement in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) management at the international level.