While the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) website states that a total 18,559.3 metric tonnes (MT) of e-waste was dismantled and recycled in the year 2021-22, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) states that only 5% of the e-waste was collected. This need for further helping people get rid of their e-waste has led to the Adar Poonawalla Clean City Initiative (APCCI), Poornam Ecovision Foundation, and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) coming together to begin a door-to-door service for picking up e-waste from all 15 wards of the city.
A pilot of this door-to-door e-waste collection was started in six wards of the city in August and after receiving more than 100 responses, the project will now be started across all wards of the city.
Dr Rajesh Manerikar, CEO, Poornam Ecovision Foundation, said, “We are working in collaboration with the APCCI and PMC to help collect and dispose of the e-waste by handing it over to authorised collection centres. In today’s modern world, technological innovations are taking place according to the changing needs. This has given rise to an increase in e-waste generation. Plastic usage in the last two decades has given rise to the generation of plastic waste. The central government has their authorised system for collecting e-waste from the industrial and commercial sector. But they are unable to collect household e-waste through their system.”
“We began a pilot drive on August 30 in six wards namely Yerwada-Kalas Dhanori, Nagar road-Vadgaon Sheri, Shivajinagar-Ghole road, Aundh-Baner, Dhole Patil road and Hadapsar-Mundhwa. We completed 150 pickups of door-to-door e-waste collection of around 3 tonnes which encouraged the PMC to allow us to collect from December 1 this year from all 15 wards of the city,” said Manerikar. While the PMC plays an important role in sensitising the citizens and creating awareness about these drives.
The APCCI helps the PMC by providing dedicated vehicles for the project. Krishnan Komandur said, “The increasing use of electronic gadgets is leading to the generation of more e-waste. To address this issue, the APCCI has started door-to-door e-waste collection through the QR code system and scientific processing of e-waste as per e-waste management rules. Citizens can scan the QR code and schedule the pickup. It is very natural that we are doing litter picking, which is an extension of our services to benefit the citizens.”
Not only has the project helped in the collection of e-waste but it has also helped rural schools with some of their hardware needs. “What could be an urban man’s waste is in fact turning out to be a rural person’s need. During our collection, we get all kinds of home appliances, computer peripherals, cables, wires and chargers out of which we have got ten computers/laptops refurbished and donated to two rural schools in Pune district,” said Manerikar.
To get the APCC to collect from door-to-door, citizens have to scan a QR code and fill up a Google form, and accordingly, the vehicles will visit the respective citizens and pick up their e-waste.