A study by researchers at the School of Management Studies at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) has found gaps in creation of awareness among people on e-waste and the need to recycle it.
A survey covering 988 households in Kochi found that 272 respondents were not aware of e-waste. As many as 187 persons were not clear about its consequences, while only 11 had utilised formal recycling services in the past three years, according to a paper published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics by Muhammed Sajid, PhD scholar, and Dr. Zakariya K.A., Professor at the School of Management Studies.
The study found that the lack of e-waste recycling centres, scarcity of information on e-waste recycling, and costs incurred for recycling e-waste, including service fees and transportation costs, as factors hampering the scientific management of e-waste. People were also worried about the risk of information theft from their personal gadgets while handing over items for recycling, according to researchers.
The study suggested making e-waste recycling more convenient for consumers and to ensure access to information about e-waste recycling and e-waste collection centres. The regular door-to-door collection of e-waste has to be promoted. The authorities could also work on converting the existing unauthorised recyclers into authorised recyclers as a long-term solution for making e-waste recycling more convenient, it said.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change can consider the “buffer model”, where a potent, larger formal recycler (local or international) or an organisation acts as an intermediate between smaller semi-informal recyclers and integrated smelter. An electronic bonus card system (an individual bonus card that allows consumers to accrue bonuses and swap them for a new planned product without incurring additional costs) to reward consumers instead of existing economic incentives could be considered, according to the study.