Visakhapatnam

Scientific e-waste disposal makes a beginning

The bin set up to collect electronic waste for safe recycling and disposal at the GVMC main office in Visakhapatnam.— Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam  

: With no separate collection process for e-waste, its disposal has turned into an environmental hazard and crude and unscientific way of salvaging it for scrap is adding to pollution. Parts or all of used cell phones and computers and old components/computer systems replaced pile up.

To deal with the growing problems acquiring alarming proportions owing to increasing use of cell phones and other electronic equipment, Green Waves Environmental Solutions headed by P. Anil Chowdary has launched e-waste collection in the city.

Following the Central Pollution Control Board coming out with e-Waste Rules 2011, guidelines for disposal have been set. Green Waves has got a licence from the AP Pollution Control Board for five years to collect and dispose e-waste in Andhra Pradesh.

“We started working last month beginning with Visakhapatnam since it is the IT hub of Andhra Pradesh,” says Mr. Anil Chowdary. Later the company plans to expand to Vijayawada.

Wooden bins

It has already set up wooden bins at GVMC, APPCB, Divi’s Laboratories, Panchavati Colony and two at Dream Valley Apartments at Muralinagar.

“Each of the bins will have two keys. One with us and another with the owners of the premises so that even if anyone drops some component by mistake they can take it back. Once the bin is full we will collect it and transport to our unit at Mindi,” says Mr. Anil Chowdary.

Generally wires are burnt in the open for copper and washed with acids that find their way into the sea. Instead, we follow a scientific process, says Mr. Chowdary.

Plastic, iron, glass and copper are salvaged in a closed environment at the dismantling unit at Mindi, an industrial area, by the company, he explains.

The mother board and other equipment are sent to licensed recyclers.

“Right now we are working with Rs.30 lakh budget and hope to get revenue from scrap. We have two vehicles to collect the e-waste,” he says.

If the idea catches up and people contribute waste, he hopes to set up a complete recycling unit here.

It’s an effort by Green Waves and the bin is set up at GVMC being a big government organisation in the city. The example can be followed by other government and private organisations, says Additional Commissioner (General) and CMO (Health) in charge G.V.V.S. Murthy.

“We want more people to come forward and play their role in disposal of e-waste by going in for the bins which will be installed free of cost,” says 29-year-old Anil Chowdary.

The bins will be installed at KGH and in some of the municipal offices and education institutions also.

“Green Waves is beginning with 50 bins and will expand if the response is good. We also plan to take students from Andhra University Engineering College and from GITAM University as volunteers,” he elaborates.

Mr. Chowdary forayed into e-waste disposal after a course in recycling of used material in New Zealand and working in a private company there for six months.

He had gone to New Zealand after a B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from Osmania University and post-graduation in Environmental Science from GITAM University.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 2:45:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/Scientific-e-waste-disposal-makes-a-beginning/article14486598.ece

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