Good news about free Makro vouchers for e-waste weekend

The E-waste Recycling Authority (ERA) has promised to host another weekend where it will offer Makro vouchers in exchange for old electric and electronic devices soon.

This comes after the organisation cancelled its recycling drive this weekend following the incredible success of the one it held over the weekend of 14–15 October.

“Due to the overwhelming response this past weekend on our e-waste drive, we are unfortunately unable to offer any vouchers to customers this weekend,” the ERA said in a statement to the Sunday Times.

“But we promise to make it up to you, and we will be hosting another weekend soon for you to responsibly pass on your old electronics and appliances.”

Last weekend, South Africans traded in old technology like DStv decoders, hard drives, cellphones, computer monitors, and gaming consoles for vouchers worth hundreds or thousands of rands.

The Sunday Times reported that people used these vouchers to help overcome their financial challenges for the rest of the month.

“I went with my husband and my son. We walked away with R1,800 and went straight to Makro where I bought my groceries,” said one customer.

“This happened on Sunday, after I saw the posts on Saturday evening. I feel I achieved a lot and called to tell all my friends.”

“I got R1,200 and I ran into Makro and got groceries we desperately needed,” said another customer.

The initiative had a massive uptake, with some stores even having queues from as early as 04:00.

Initiative put on pause

However, due to the enormous response, Makro and the E-waste Recycling Authority (ERA) have had to pause the drive.

“The [recent] initiative that we ran was ERA’s brainchild and intended to incentivise customers to safely dispose of their e-waste,” said Massmart spokesperson Brian Leroni.

“This was the first time we had rewarded customers for their e-waste, and there is an opportunity to implement a more efficient process,” he added.

“We have therefore decided to review and redesign the process before running it again.”

The ERA reported that over 12,500 people participated in the campaign last weekend.

With the minimum voucher value being R100, at least R1.25 million in vouchers were handed out over the weekend.

However, several Twitter users reported that they successfully got the maximum R600 daily vouchers, which would suggest the actual figure is much closer to the maximum of R7.5 million.

While the vouchers are no longer available, the ERA has implored customers to continue dropping off their e-waste — South Africa’s fastest-growing waste stream.

The ERA’s e-waste drop-off collection points and bins — including those at Makro — will remain open for those willing to donate their e-waste during regular Makro operating hours.

“Your e-waste goes through a rigorous process that enables the reuse of materials and creates job opportunities nationwide,” the agency said.

The ERA provides a comprehensive list of the products on its website that can be handed in for recycling, reuse, or repair.

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Good news about free Makro vouchers for e-waste weekend