Bin here, dump that!

Bin here, dump that!

Waste segregation has always been a concern in the city. In the past, the focus was more on solid and wet waste and not much on e-waste.

In a move to collect e-waste effectively, a bin was installed on CMH Road, near MK Retail, recently. Bengalureans have welcomed this move and suggest that more such measures should be taken.

The bin is jointly set up by Saahas and Environmental Synergies in Development (Ensyde) and is supported by VMWare. Manvel Alur, CEO and founder of Ensyde, says that this move was done as part of the programme called 'bE-Responsible'. "We've been trying to experiment with different drop locations that will make it convenient for residents to drop off e-waste. We already have 10 BangaloreOne centres and two post boxes to collect e-waste but we wanted to experiment in a public space and what is better than a grocery store for this?" she says.

While many don't understand that e-waste is a big problem, she says that "e-waste is the new plastic". "Gadgets have a short shelf-life now and are being disposed regularly. Bengaluru is the third largest generator of e-waste in the country," she says.

From mobile phones and chargers, CDs and batteries to kitchen and home appliances, a lot can be dropped off at such bins. The concept of "use and throw" is growing by the day and such bins need to increase in number, points out Nandini Nagarkatti, a homemaker.

"Segregation of e-waste is a must as it harms the environment. Bengaluru, being the hub of IT and young professionals, a large number of gadgets are used here. More bins should be installed in areas which have BDA complexes. TTMCs would be another good option," she points out.

Many apartment complexes have e-waste bins and waste disposal solutions, points out Poornima K, a resident of Indiranagar. "E-waste can affect soil, air and water. The word needs to spread though social media and other platforms so
that even residents in individual houses do their bit. Finding similar disposal solutions, separating e-waste from regular waste and connecting with organisations which deal with it, is the step ahead," she says.

She says that performances like street plays would also help create awareness. "Pass the word on. Even when interacting with your domestic help, tell them about how one shouldn't mix bulbs and cables with other waste," she adds.

Chirag Arora, a senior technical staff with an IT firm who came to the city 10 years ago, observes that most of the city's lakes and waterbodies are getting affected by toxic material, which also comes from e-waste.

"Years ago, headsets and mobile chargers were used for longer periods. While on one hand we talk about the digital era, what comes with it is e-waste. Awareness campaigns need to be conducted at schools and corporate hubs," he says.

Radio jingles or standup comedies can be used to communicate the message, he adds. "Visual representation matters a lot and when a bin is put up, there needs to be enough signage and hype created to trigger conversations."

Ask what other steps can be taken to address e-waste and Manvel says, "We are looking
forward to installing more bins at different parts of the city including retail outlets and schools. At the moment the e-waste goes from homes, other buildings and recycling centres to scrap dealers. There should be a system which can integrate all this together in a non-hazardous manner."

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