The Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has initiated steps to deal with the large quantity of electronic waste being generated in the State.

A fortnight ago, the KSPCB held a national level meeting of manufacturers of electronic and electrical equipment being marketed in the State under the ambit of ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ listed in the Centre’s e-waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011.

The rules state that “producer shall, as necessary, ensure collection and channelization by authorising collection agencies,” by “setting up collection centres or take back systems either individually or collectively.” The rules also hold the producers responsible for “financing and organising a system to meet the costs involved in the environmentally sound management of e-waste generated from the end of life of its own products and historical waste available on the date from which these rules come into force. The financing arrangement of such a system shall be transparent.”

KSPCB told the participants of the meeting that their products were being sold extensively in Kerala.

“So, we suggested a consortium of manufacturers and their distributors in the State in all 14 districts to develop a mechanism for the collection of e-waste. We have asked the manufacturers to respond to our proposal or to come up with an alternative feasible proposal at the next meeting scheduled towards the end of June,” said K. Sajeevan, chairman, KSPCB.

The KSPCB has also introduced a new column in its licence renewal form this year as part of its larger plan to have a scientific database on e-waste generated in the State.

“As of now we have no data on e-waste generated in the State. So we have asked all establishments that need our licence to furnish details by the end of this year about the prevailing stock of e-waste, the quantity generated and that to be disposed of,” said M.S. Mythili, chief environmental engineer, KSPCB Ernakulam Regional Office.

Plans are afoot to collect data of e-waste generation and methods of disposal in the district by distributing a detailed questionnaire to IT-specific industries. The scheme, she said, would be introduced in a couple of months.

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