e-waste mostly being broken down by crude, hazardous methods

In an effort to prevent e-waste being broken down by rudimentary and hazardous methods by people in the informal sector, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has asked local bodies, including the Chennai Corporation, to set up e-waste collection centres.

TNPCB Member Secretary K.Karthikeyan said that only five per cent of the total e-waste generated was coming into the formal sector.

The new move will encourage the formal sector to dismantle and dispose of e-waste. He said collection centres would be set up on a pilot basis in one zone in each ward.

“A survey of e-waste generation sources, including industries, commercial establishments, home appliance sellers and households, will be conducted soon. This has been stressed in the e-waste policy of the State government,” he said.

Arun Senthilram of Toxics Link, who is also member of the State E-waste policy drafting committee, said that awareness of e-waste was lacking among the public. Steps must be taken to create awareness.

Enterprise audit

“Many firms claim to recycle e-waste, however, several are not. They only dismantle e-waste in a crude, rudimentary manner. An enterprise audit must be done by TNPCB to ensure proper handling of e-waste.”

Mr. Karthikeyan also said that the number of manufacturers of automobile spare parts and electrical items in the city had increased.

Their products also contained hazardous substances and steps would be taken to restrict the use of such substances.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012