Now, drop off e-waste at select centres, post offices in Bengaluru

Green trends: In less than a month, these units have collected over 250 kg of e-waste   | Photo Credit: E Waste

Disposing e-waste will not be a problem any more, if you live in south Bengaluru. You can now drop them at your nearest Bangalore One centre and soon even at select post offices.

Two organisations working in the waste management sector for over a decade, Environmental Synergies in Development (ENSYDE) and Saahas, have put up nine e-waste collection units at nine Bangalore One centres in 10 wards in and around J.P. Nagar.

In less than a month, these units have collected over 250 kg of e-waste that include laptops, mobile phones, DVDs and other electronic equipment. A mobile pick-up vehicle has also been doing the rounds in south Bengaluru, pre-arranging pick-up meets with institutions and residents welfare associations. Manvel Alur, founder of ENSYDE, said they had a tie-up with Karnataka Postal Circle and will put up three collection units at select post offices in south Bengaluru.

Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, BBMP said the biggest gap in e-waste sector was that while there are only a few e-waste recyclers in the formal sector, there is no streamlined channel from e-waste generators to recyclers. The collection units at Bangalore One centres and post offices was a good way to bridge the gap, he added. However, BBMP is not involved in the initiative.

The mechanism becomes significant, in the absence of any credible collection stream in the city, leaving e-waste generators confused as to where to dispose the waste. A proposal made by SWM Expert Committee, BBMP, to collect e-waste separately in a bin has been gathering dust.

“Toxicity of handling e-waste is often cited as a reason for non-collection by pourakarmikas. It is high time that the BBMP ropes in a private player at the pan city level to collect e-waste,” said Kalpana Kar, member, SWM expert committee.

Recyclers yet to crack payment model

In the absence of a collection system, e-waste sector in the city largely remains unorganised where scrap dealers pay for e-waste.

However, except in large quantities from institutions, e-waste recyclers have not been able to pay for the waste collected, for instance at the doorstep, terming them unviable.

Kalpana Kar, member, SWM expert committee, BBMP, said households were still attuned to give e-waste and other recyclable material to scrap dealers who pay rather than give them to e-waste collectors from the formal sectors.

“We need to crack a model where we will be able to pay at least a nominal fee for e-waste at doorstep,” Ms. Kar said.

Multiple studies have pointed out to the hazardous disposal of e-waste and employing child labour in the unorganised sector.

The Assocham-cKinetics study of 2016 said two-thirds of e-waste workers in unorganised sector suffer from respiratory disorders.

Tubelight added to list

Recent e-waste management rules notified by Ministry of Environment and Forests, has added tubelights, CFL and other lighting waste to the e-waste list. However, the collection of these waste streams are yet to be streamlined.

Manvel Alur, founder of ENSYDE, said while these items had to be transported with great care, there is no scientific disposal or recycling infrastructure available, posing a problem.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 12:21:50 AM |

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