Saving the World, One Device at a Time!

Feb 10, 2016

Dubai, February 10 - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China, in collaboration with Chinese internet giant Baidu, showcased an innovative tech-based solution “Baidu Recycle” aimed to tackle the e-waste recycling challenges facing the world at the 4th World Government Summit, a high-level global forum that convened over 4,500 participants from more than 130 countries, including government officials, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and heads of multilateral organizations.

The innovative E-waste recycling app, Baidu Recycle, which offers a simple and effective solution to the growing E-waste problem in China, was selected to be part of the Edge of Governments exhibit, an important component of the Summit, which highlighted 11 case studies from over 70 Governance 2.0 innovations around the globe to inform and trigger thinking, whilst inspiring visitors to connect with the innovators behind the projects and learn how to adapt the approach for use in their own context.

The exhibit looked at how technology could be better leveraged in delivering public service under the theme of ‘Shaping Future Governments,' covering a wide range of pressing issues of modern society including health, environmental protection, public security and citizen participation. Projects showcased ranged from public data visualization in Brazil to detector Rats in Mozambique and Tanzania.

Patrick Haverman, Deputy Director of UNDP China, while demonstrating the Baidu Recycle to the visitors, said: “UNDP is incredibly excited to engage and interact with the best innovative minds around the world and showcase our e-waste solution. We hope that the visitors and government leaders by visiting the Edge of Government can be inspired by these innovations and support in building a better, more sustainable future through technology innovation.”

E-waste is a mounting challenge around the world, especially in China whereby around 70 percent of worldwide e-waste ends up according to a recent UN Report. Baidu Recycle is the first environmental solution from the UNDP-Baidu Big Data Joint Lab established in 2014.  In September 2015 the upgraded Baidu Recycle 2.0 was officially launched by Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General and Robin Li, CEO of Baidu. It aims to link consumers to government certified e-waste recycling and dismantling companies to ensure an environmental responsible disposal and recycling through the online-to-offline approach. Users can simply upload a picture of their unwanted electronic products, alongside their contact details and within 36 hours an accredited recycler will contact the user to confirm a time to collect the item and recycle in a responsible way.

During the exhibition, his highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai spoke highly of this innovative approach when he visited the booth of Baidu Recycle. Other high-level visitors included Nicholas Negroponte, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab; Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for founding the Grameen Bank, Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland.

In 2015, the service of Baidu Recycle reached 22 cities in China. Looking forward, UNDP and Baidu hope to scale up the app to include more users, dismantlers and manufacturers alongside replicating the model globally to change recycling behavior around the world. While the Chinese version has been available since 2015 the first English language version of the app will be available for free download later this year. In addition, UNDP together with MEP/FECO and Baidu will be hosting a workshop to introduce this innovative practice ready to replicate to ten other countries including Mexico, Brazil, Sri Lanka, etc.

To find out more about the Edge of the Government Exhibition during the World Government Summit, click here.

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