Recycling e-waste correctly

For Environment

Everytime we replace an electronic gadget with its upgraded model, it beco­m­es a headache to adjust or dump the redundant version in the right place.

Old computers, laptops, mobile phones, CDs, hard disks, washing machines, ovens etc either eat dust at homes, go to dustbin or go to kabadiwalla at meagre rates.

Delhi is one of the biggest e-waste producers of India, generating around 15000 tonnes per annum. It also leads in processing of e-waste dumped here from other parts of the country. A large part of these dumped electronic goods are dismantled in informal and unauthorised settings, leaving the environment and people open to hazardous pollutants.

However, it is illegal to dump e-waste into garbage bins or sell it to the local scrap dealer.
As per the Electronic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011,
e-waste must be routed to one of 73 authorised recyclers in India. While awareness about the new guidelines and their implementation might take time to reach out among the people, we tell you what options you have to dump your e-waste.

A City-based company Attero Recycling collects e-waste by going door-to-door across the country and recycle it at its factory in Roorkee. Dial their toll-free number 1800-419-3283 and your e-waste will be picked up from home.

“We even pay in lieu of old mobile phones. However, not for bulky items like fridge, washing machine etc as the transportation and recycling cost for them is much higher,” says Rohan Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Attero Recycling. Over the last six months, they have picked up old electronic items from around 2000 homes in Delhi.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has installed e-waste bins at its office on Barakhambha Road, allowing the employees and even visitors to dump old and redundant electronic items.

Besides, many companies have take back programmes in which they take back the old products. Satish Sinha, associate director at Toxic Link, an NGO, says, “The best way is to give the old goods back to the companies they were bought from. This can be done either by buying new items in exchange for old products or through ‘take back programmes’. In fact, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) under the new guidelines  makes it mandatory for manufacturers to take back e-waste for recycling.”

If the manufacturers don’t pick up the electronic items, you can complain to Pollution Control Board.  If you are giving the e-waste to local scrap dealer, make sure he has an authorisation certificate from the Pollution Control Board. “People are not aware of the hazards of dumping e-waste just like that. But they can be prosecuted too under the new rules. However, in India, it is near impossible to penalise offenders,” says Satish.
You can also dump e-waste in bins installed at various schools and prominent locations identified by local civic bodies like MCD and NDMC.

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