How to Dispose Off Your Old Phones, Electronics

  • A person repairing a damaged laptop
    A person repairing a damaged laptop
  • With the growing technological trends, new electronic devices including phones and household appliances are being updated and introduced into the market regularly. 

    Kenyans trying to keep up with the trends are contributing to the e-waste in the country. The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has laid out regulations to be followed in the disposal of e-waste.

    According to a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2021, the increasing e-waste is affecting the health of millions of children and the population in general.

    Phones recovered following the arrest of suspects along Southern Bypass on Wednesday, June 23.
    Phones recovered following the arrest of suspects along Southern Bypass on Wednesday, June 23.

    “With mounting volumes of production and disposal, the world faces what one recent international forum described as a mounting “tsunami of e-waste, putting lives and health at risk,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, stated.

    The environmental watchdog prohibits anyone to dispose of e-waste by burning, burial, at a dump site, or in any undesignated waste container. Also, any member of the public is not allowed to abandon e-waste anywhere other than the allocated recycling facilities.

    Some of the ways Kenyans can dispose off their phones and other electronic appliances include;

    Give to a licensed recycler

    NEMA has laid out regulations for any person seeking to recycle electronic waste in bulk. Each recycler needs a license to operate in the country.

    According to NEMA, recyclers have roles to receive and dismantle the waste electrical and electronic equipment into hazardous and non-hazardous components in an environmentally sound manner.

    They should also ensure that the components which cannot be recycled locally are exported as specified in the regulations.

    Sell Old Electronics

    If you have old electronic devices you are not using around the house, you could sell them and get some extra cash. There are online platforms where you could dispose off your old electronics.

    Return to the Manufacturer

    Several tech companies provide solutions to disposing of your outdated electronic devices.

    A section of these companies offers discounts on electronic devices disposed of for new ones. The manufacturer is most likely to know safe areas to dispose of the unwanted products.


    If your device is not completely damaged, you could opt to repair it. Repairing saves you the burden of buying a new device and also saves the environment.

    Failure to recycle electronic waste in a prescribed way could attract hefty fines from the government.

    Anyone found breaking the regulations may face imprisonment of not less than 36 months or a fine of not less than Ksh2 million or both.

    An image of NEMA offices in Nairobi, Kenya
    An image of NEMA offices in Nairobi, Kenya.
    arrest suspect