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Updated: December 30, 2013 00:59 IST

City awaits e-waste disposal system

Rahul Devulapalli
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Lakhs of households across the city know little on how to systematically deal with e-waste

How do you dispose of the many dead batteries or a damaged phone that inevitably comes your way? More often than not, this situation would leave you confused.

Lakhs of households across the city know little on how to systematically deal with e-waste, most of which contains materials hazardous to the environment and toxic for humans. The administration, meanwhile, has neither taken steps to open collection centres for residents, nor been proactive in creating awareness – the result being that hundreds of tonnes of e- waste are disposed as any other waste in the city.

“There is still no one-stop-shop solution to the e-waste being generated in the city,” said P.S. Gunaranjan, founder and director of www.yousee.in, an NGO.
This comes at a time when a recent UN report said that by 2020, e-waste from computers would rise dramatically by 500 per cent in India, and that from discarded mobile phones 18 times from the 2007 levels. “We hardly get 10 to 12 enquiries in a month from citizens who want to dispose e-waste,” said vice-president of GEMS (Global e-Waste Management and Services) Aamir Khan.

“We have been collecting household e-waste from the residents for some time now. But there are still many who give away e-waste to scrap dealers.” E-waste mostly consists of batteries, cell phones and computer spares. Environmentalists have time and again warned that materials like mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and beryllium found in e-waste can cause cancers, brain stroke and lung disorders.

“We have authorised vendors who regularly clear the e-waste from IT and software companies. We have also been placing e-waste bins in company cafeterias and other places and encouraging employees to dispose e-waste from their homes,” said Bipin Chandra Pendyala, secretary, IT & ITES Industry Association of A.P.

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