E-Waste de Guatemala

E-Waste de Guatemala: Eco Friendly E-Waste Dismantling Facility in Guatemala

Guatemala, GuatemalaGuatemala, Guatemala
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

So far we have worked by collecting waste and delivering it to an international operator. Now we want to begin dismantling in a manual way the waste we receive from our customer/recipient.This to reduce toxicity and avoid the bad practices that other people or organizations have towards it.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

this dismantling project opens the door for a new industry in our country, generating more jobs and opportunities?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

All fractions, parts and materials from electronic waste are being poorly managed in our country, there is no an effective solution or any certified industry that show us that the equipment we collected will have a good management to prevent pollution. After months of investigation it was seen that there are organizations that do the work but with bad practices, putting the lives of women and children at risk by hiring them.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our objective is to design a proper E-Waste dismantling facility with all the technical requirements in space, staff and equipment. This to reduce the bad practices that currently exist in our country. We want to start the manual De-pollution and dismantling process of WEEE by opening the appliance realizing a separation of the housing from the rest of the electronic, remove the hazardous components, to obtain from them all the capacitors, batteries, LCD- display, CRT tubes, toners,etc. The idea is to separate the elements in containers to treat them separately according to their level of toxicity and then give them to the international operator, who will have to send them to an appropriate recycling in countries abroad.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Currently in Guatemala there are bad practices regarding the management of the materials that make up electronic waste, which is generating more than 100 sources of contamination near homes, threatening employees and neighbors. This solution makes a difference since we are the only institution in Guatemala certified and supported by international norms and standards from the university of the united nations, having received an E-Waste management certificate this year. With our pilot tests during this 2014 we have managed to realize that the project can be accomplished because dismantling all the electronic devices that we receive reduce by 75% the toxicity of them, in about four months.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

for five years the organization as E-waste de Guatemala has recolected over a hundred thousand tons of electronic and electric waste, still not enough because each person in Guatemala generates between 3 or 4 kg of waste per year. The matrix equivalent according to our calculation for each material contamination, to more than 2 million liters of water free of contamination by heavy metals. In the future we want to multiply the collection of electronic waste to get more free liters of water from the current pollution and we know that with the process of dismantling that we want to integrate to our current project, we can do it in a better way, because we could know the real destination of every material from the toxic waste we handle. Thereby avoiding the bad practices that only increase pollution, generating jobs and developing country communities. Multiplying our revenue by 100%.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Once created our dismantling center, we want to use it as a model to develop a certification that allows us to share these practices with other companies engaged in the management of electronic waste to train them and thus achieve them as we do in an eco-friendly way. In addition to this, we seek to expand north triangle of Central America, Honduras and El Salvador this in order to educate and train these countries over the proper process for handling and dismantling of electronic waste but having our headquarters in Guatemala, this to make annually conferences about new ewaste policies.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Currently we are collecting an average of 25 tons of obsolete computers per month. This is delivered to an international operator which pays us per pound of it. With the money we receive, we sustain our costs and pay staff but we just receive a 7% as profit,which does not allow us to grow. If we give them the equipment dismantled we receive a 130% more of money from each pound so we increase a 52% of our utility. Allowing the operation to expand.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The northern triangle countries such as Honduras and El Salvador, suffer from the same problem as us because they have electronic waste but they don't have a proper handling process for electronic waste. There are not companies or organizations in these countries, who could be responsible for collecting the waste, which implies that they are have high levels of toxicity in homes and offices.This project differs because Guatemala, has several companies that are responsible for the collection and temporary storage of electronic waste. So the only thing needed here is a dismantling operation.

Founding Story

My idea emerged after my boss returned from the Ewaste Academy, which belongs to the United Nations. He was there for a week receiving training on how to dismantle electronic waste products. So when he came back and started telling me about his experiences in the training I have the idea to put into practice what he had learned there and mount the operation in Guatemala. For this I started reading the presentations delivered to them at the conference and I get really interested in the way that Switzerland's representatives presented what they do in their country and the progress that was producing in the economy of their E-Waste organization. This way I decided that we should get the funds to replicate this environmental model in Guatemala.


Current composition= Board. Executive director. Project coordinator. Administrative assistant. Telemarketing:Program collection routes. Logistics:Two collection operators/ two assistant The winery:Receives waste after collection Project Grown= The same but now we have to add five more people for dismantling. 1st. Large waste. 2nd. Small Parts. 3rd. cable. 4th. Appliances 5th. Hardous Fractions In both all workers have a full time job
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, GU, Guatemala

Country where this project is creating social impact

, GU, Guatemala

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Foundations, NGOs, Businesses, Customers, Other.


Waste and Packaging.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

Customer/recipient groups: Individuals, B2B companies, organizations, repair shops and scavengers.

They value our solution because in this way they could reduce dead space, prevent pollution and be certified as a company that responsibly manages its electronic waste.

Customers who know us by the talks given at institutions call us and tell us that they have some E-Waste in their home or office so we then schedule a collection with no cost according with our everyday route in the town.

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

Money will help us for the operational costs such as: staff, infrastructure, appropriate, security and specific equipment, transport and administration costs.

Publicity will help us so more people will know that our country, even though it has no any specific environment rules or laws has a certified environmental installation, professional and responsible for the proper handling of electronic waste toxic or non-toxic.

This is over the next two years because we believe that if we start with all the specific requirements from the outset we could do a better job and develop in a more appropriate way.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

I currently work as the project coordinator carrying out the improvements of
E-Waste de Guatemala an nongovernmental nonprofit association that handles waste management and preservation of the environment by collecting and temporarily stockpiling the waste for then deliver to an international recycler who is responsible for sending them to countries that have adequate processes for this.

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?


Will you require a visa to enter the UK?

Are you are a current Unilever employee?