Sustainable Solutions to Disposal of Solar Batteries in Kakamega, Kenya
School of Public Service
The county of Kakamega is located in Western Kenya with a population of 1.7 million people. The people of Kakamega are in extreme poverty with roughly one percent of the population having access to electricity. In recent years, Kenya has become a large developing market for solar power technology. Eco2librium is bringing inexpensive solar power to this area but is worried of the future improper disposal of the expired products from the solar equipment. Solar panels and batteries contain toxic chemical and materials that can cause contamination of water and land. Our main objective is to find a responsible method to dispose of the hazardous materials found in solar panels and batteries once they have exceeded the lifespan of 5-7 years. The project's goal is to promote responsible disposal and recycling of solar panels and batteries, while also attempting to implement refurbishing and maintenance practices. This will ultimately help improve the longevity and efficiency of the solar project by Eco2librium. In addition, funding efforts for recycling or disposing of the batteries are being explored. This will be accomplished by incentivizing local people to bring the expired battery to a central location for pick up and transportation to a recycling center. The incentives to bring the expired battery to a central location will include a 5% discount on a new battery or choice of cookware. We are also exploring the possibility of implementing an insurance program that would help fund the costly efforts of shipping used batteries to be recycled or refurbished. All of these potential improvements will help in the longevity and better function of the solar kits.
Dey, Alex; Spring, Travis; and Gable, Britt, "Sustainable Solutions to Disposal of Solar Batteries in Kakamega, Kenya" (2018). 2018 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference. 14.