Delhi would now focus on systematic and hygienic disposal of e-waste to minimise the damage being done by it to the environment, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said while speaking at a programme organised to launch e-waste disposal at Delhi Secretariat on Monday.

Ms. Dikshit, who distributed 16 e-waste collection bins and 42 paper recycling machines, described the move as a "humble beginning that would help in eliminating the danger of e-waste". She said the Delhi Government has decided to develop a systematic collection mechanism for e-waste.

The need for creating e-waste disposal facilities was felt because mixing of such waste into garbage results in the e-waste finding its way to landfills and leading to leaching of heavy metals and radio active substances that causes ground water contamination.

So old mobile phones, watch batteries, ordinary batteries, waste CFL bulbs are now required to be collected and disposed in an environmentally-sound way through recyclers authorised by the Central Pollution Control Board and Ministry of Environment and Forests.

As per the scheme, e-waste collection bins will be installed at all identified places across Delhi from where the authorised recyclers would collect the e-waste for recycling. Ms. Dikshit said with more and more people and offices opting for e-appliances non-disposal of e-waste in a proper manner could pose a grave danger. ``It is time to take up systematic disposal of e-waste to ensure elimination of danger to nature,’’ she said.

To begin with the Delhi Government has installed an e-waste collection bin at Delhi Secretariat. It was informed that New Delhi Municipal Council would also install such bins at different locations in the area under its jurisdiction. In particular, these bins would be placed in offices, schools, colleges and markets like Nehru Place and Gaffar Market.

The Chief Minister said another common problem being faced by the schools of Delhi is the disposal of waste paper. An environment-friendly way to tackle the enormous amount of waste paper generated at schools is through paper recycling. The Department of Environment, under its scheme for setting up “Eco-clubs in schools and colleges of Delhi” has sensitised the students and teachers for paper recycling and has got paper recycling machines installed in over 88 schools of Delhi. Since there has been a good response, 42 more schools were on Monday distributed paper recycling machines.