MAIT estimated that by 2011, e-waste in India would touch 470,000 MT. MAIT estimates that only 19,000 tons of the total e-waste generated gets ultimately processed by the formal recycling sector. As per the study, around 94% of corporate in India do not have a policy on disposal of e-waste. And notably our city also contributes a lot in the generation of e-waste.
What is Electronic waste?
It includes all types of electronic and electrical equipment and products which have been discarded due to advancement in technology, changes in fashion, style and status or perception and also due to pervading reach of information technology in trade and commerce.
As per the survey of Central Pollution Control Board, Nagpur is in the top ten cities generating e-waste. Fulmali said, “This subject is very new for management. Considering severity of the issue, state government has made some norms and we have started primary work on it. However, along with us there are some NGO's working on the issue. They will submit their assigned study to state government.”
The second authority, Nagpur Municipal Corporation has also undertaken an assignment to look into the issue, but Health Officer, Milind Ganvir, did not reveal any local action plan and lobbed the ball in State Government's court. However, an NGO, Vasundhara Educational and Welfare Association, has taken an initiative and started a survey in various areas of the city. Veena Khanorkar, President Vasundhara Educational and Welfare Association, informing about the project, said, “The assignment has been given to us by state government. We are focusing on usage of electronics' items and the way people discard them after use and also divided the waste in domestic and industrial e-waste. Till now survey has covered Balasaheb Surve Nagar, Trimurty Nagar and Civil Lines. Our aim is to survey 10,000 houses and various corporate companies.”
Further she added, “We try to find out the place, where does it come from, its collection and decomposition. Electronics market opposite Shani Mandir, Sitabuldi, and Chor Bazar behind Cotton Market are the places where recycled electronic equipment are on sale. We do not have proper recycling system for e-waste. Hence recycling of faulty gadgets have captured the market and ill qualities of gadgets are available in the market.”
Explaining the severity of the e-waste, Khanorkar said that issue is not as severe as solid waste was but in coming ten years it will be a matter of concern, if not handled properly. Presently entire e-waste is being openly dismantled and metals are recovered by burning or diluting in acid. There is no financial support made available to the registered re-cyclers from government. Therefore difficulties are there in implementing present rules.
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