Experts seek proper e-waste management mechanism- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Telangana generated 50,335.6 tonnes of e-waste in the year 2021-22, of which only 42,297 tonnes were properly disposed of, according to the Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI) and projections by Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA).

However, the awareness among the public about the responsible disposal of electronic waste in households remains very low. In this regard, experts have demanded that a proper e-waste management mechanism be set up to avoid the environmental hazard that comes with electronic waste.

K Kranthi Kiran, an IT worker, said, “Chargers, wired earphones, speakers, electric kettles are the commonly found e-waste in households. Most of the time, we dispose of these products that are no longer in working condition, along with the regular waste. But we try to repair high-end gadgets like laptops, computers, and LEDs or sell them at a local store. I am not quite sure about the proper disposal method.”

Balaji Chowdary, General Manager of Earth Sense Recycle, one of Telangana’s biggest recycling units, said, “The guidelines and process of evaluating and calculating e-waste generated are vague. Most of the time, the projections are based on the sales by the company and the lifetime of these products. But the actual number might be more than that, as we cannot calculate the old mobile phones, laptops, and other gadgets, piling up on the shelves. These products, when stored for a long period, also contribute to carbon emissions. Hence, proper disposal of e-waste is mandatory.”

He added, “We conduct campaigns in gated communities and educate residents about the importance of recycling e-waste. Along with these, we also collect e-waste from IT companies and IT parks. But the percentage of people who are aware is only 5% to 10%.”

He said that introducing separate bins and mandating the segregation of e-waste, similar to the collection of wet and dry waste, would help streamline e-waste management. Establishing more collection centres would facilitate proper e-waste management. This will also help control the informal sector, like scrap stores, etc.

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