KSPCB herds recyclers for treating e-waste

Concerned over the threat posed to the environment by e-waste generated in the State, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has launched a project ‘Crystal’ to bring waste treating companies together and help them in treatment of waste using state-of-the-art facilities.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed in this regard.

The business to obtain precious metal such as gold, silver and platinum by recycling electronic waste will now be more lucrative following this MoU.  E-waste can be extracted more efficiently by the e- waste recyclers and reusers following the MoU between e-parisara pvt limited, the Belgium-based Umicore Precious Metal Refinery and e-waste agency (EWA).

The project taken up by KSPCB through its hazardous waste and water management (HAWA) will ensure scientific extraction of precious metals.  “There are a dozen informal metal recovery units in the State, that function in an unscientific manner. This project ensures work in more scientific manner.

“Very few companies in the world know about this technology. Umicore, a leading specialist in the recovery of precious metals, is one among them,” A S Sadashivaiah, Chairman, KSPCB told media persons. The 15-month project is aimed at bringing all the units together and to ensure better collection and recovery.

Precious metals

According to P Binisha, Chief Environment Advisor, HAWA GTZ, the printed circuit board connector and other components of a computer have a fraction of precious metal. That portion will be extracted and sent to Belgium for recovery.  “Since the recyclers cannot afford to export the consignment unless it is 10 metric tonnes, project Crystal will enable them to do so as if they come as a group,” she said.

Binisha said KSPCB, which is involved in the project through HAWA will support the project by looking into legal aspects and suggesting regarding the regulatory related issues. On the role of e- parisara, she said that since it has an export licence it will take initiative of export. “It will accept container load when they function as a group,” she said.  Environmental process, avoiding occupational hazards and ensuring better efficiency of recovery will be the additional benefit of the projects.

New rules

Finally the Union Government has come out with rules to dispose electronic waste. A S Sadashivaiah, Chairman, KSPCB, announced that the rules will be a reality soon. He said that the board has received a draft copy and is still under discussion. He said that it will be made public following the order from the Union Government.

The country annually produces about 1.5 lakh metric tonnes of e-waste and the City alone contributes about 8,000 tonnes. However, e-parisara says that the City figure is only from the IT industries and the domestic e-waste like television, fridge and others are not included in this.

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