Over the last one month, BBMP and two NGOs have been collecting e-waste from citizens in a drive which will now be expanded to other government agencies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd. (Bescom), and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).
The e-waste awareness, collection and transportation initiative is called bE-Responsible. It is run by two NGOs — Environmental Synergies in Development (ENSYDE) and Saahas — that have tied up with Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).
Anshul Rawal of Saahas said, “We have recently installed e-waste collection bins on the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and KSPCB premises.”
The two NGOs had installed bins at the BBMP headquarters and at all the eight zonal offices to collect e-waste. In May, they had launched a similar initiative with the Postal Department.
Manvel Alur, CEO and founder of ENSYDE, said, “Large PSUs and government organisations have a huge employment base, and work with communities and citizens directly. Hence, we thought we should work with them, so that even citizens who come to their offices can drop off their e-waste in the bins.” Bengaluru is the third largest generator of e-waste after Delhi and Mumbai, but there is no proper mechanism in place to dispose electronic items.
“As a result, e-waste often lands up as dry waste or with scrap dealers and ragpickers who remove what is valuable to them and throw away or burn the rest. The latter is an environmental hazard due to the release of toxic elements, such as mercury and lead,” said Mr. Alur.
The NGOs, as part of the initiative, have set up around 40 drop boxes in various parts of the city. The collected waste is sent to e-Parisara, a government authorised recycler.
“We have our presence across the city. But, being an NGO, we face some limitations, like logistics. We use e-rickshaws to collect waste. They have low range. Collecting from areas like Electronics City and Whitefield is difficult,” said Mr. Alur.
In Koramangala ward, the two NGOs and the BBMP have cleared pavements of unused and discarded cables and wires that were a hazard to pedestrian movement. “We are planning to work on the issue across the city with the BMMP,” said Mr. Rawal.