The Delhi Government this past week announced that it would install collection bins across the Capital to contain the growing problem of hazardous waste (including e-waste) disposal in the city.

Sloppy disposal of e-waste is a huge problem and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit noted that hazardous waste needs to be disposed of systematically and hygienically to reduce damage to the environment.

However, the only drawback is that the Delhi Government isn't aware of the exact amount of hazardous waste being generated in the city as the last survey taking an account of the waste generated in the city was done in 2007. Also there are no safe sites available for disposal of this waste in the city.

This information was provided by the Government in reply to an RTI question.

‘No site'

“There is no information available about how much hazardous waste /garbage has been generated in 2008 and 2009. A survey conducted by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee in 2007 provided the last information on hazardous waste. Also, hazardous waste is stored by generator units and common effluent treatment plants in their own premises. Delhi has no site that has been developed to dispose this kind of waste. Waste of computers, mobile phones and other electronic waste too come under hazardous waste,” noted the RTI reply.

As part of the Government latest initiative, 16 e-waste collection bins and 42 paper recycling machines would be distributed throughout the city.

Environmentalist V. K. Jain said: “While we welcome the move by the State Government to spread awareness about hazardous waste, the fact remains that the Government has no idea about the exact amount of waste generated and nor do we have any safe disposal sites that can cater exclusively to this waste. Announcements made by the Government should be backed with infrastructure to support it. There is no point in collecting this waste and then not knowing what to do with it, which seems to be the case here.”

The RTI reply also noted that Delhi is yet to develop any hazardous waste disposal site.

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