Nigerian Company Recycles Old Laptop Components Into Solar Powered Lanterns
The world faces a huge electronic waste (e-waste) problem, with the volume of discarded technology components and equipment surging at an unprecedented scale. A Nigerian social enterprise company wants to help solve this problem by recycling old laptops into sources of light.
The Lagos-based Quadloop takes components like lithium-ion batteries, wires, screws and screens, among others, from dumped laptops and turns them into solar powered lanterns.
Dozie Igweilo, the company’s founder, told Reuters that he came up with the idea after coming across a market for affordable and locally produced electrical goods. His only problem was many of the components weren’t available in the country. That’s why he looked to alternative sources for his supply of components, such as e-waste.
"At that point, we noticed that... if we leverage on electronic waste, we are going to cut down the cost of production as well as the cost of sales, and that is what brought us to where we are today," said Igweilo. The company's plan is to source 70% of its materials from e-waste.
Many of the solar units that Quadloop makes are sold to small businesses – each unit reportedly costs US$32 – which help them continue operations and be productive during power outages. One such customer is Blessing Samuel, a hairdresser who uses the solar units at night. She says they help her relieve the stress of buying fuel and extra expenses as she previously had to run her generator at night just to have a source of light.
Igweilo says Nigeria is in pressing need of access to cheaper sources of light. Africa’s most populous country is in the midst of an energy crisis, leaving many of its citizens with an expensive yet unreliable source of electricity. Those who can’t afford to connect to the grid are left in the dark.
Apart from small businesses, Igweilo hopes to sell his solar units to local community hospitals next.
A Nigerian social enterprise company is helping solve the global e-waste problem by recycling old laptop components into solar powered lanterns.
The Lagos-based Quadloop takes components like lithium-ion batteries, wires and screws from dumped laptops and turns them into sources of light that they sell to small businesses.
Dozie Igweilo, the company’s founder, said he got the idea after coming across a market for affordable and locally produced electrical goods, for which many of the components were unavailable.