Authorities turn focus on e-waste management

  • Snehil Sinha and Dhananjay Jha, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Feb 16, 2015 14:55 IST

For an IT hub, which throws up unaccounted but considerable amount of e-waste, it is appalling that Gurgaon does not have any recycling centre or even basic e-waste management system.

If one scours the city one can find five e-waste dismantling units in the Gurgaon-Manesar area. But then, the question arises: why is it that residents almost never hear about e-waste collection?

Simply put, it does not make business sense for the five e-waste collection companies to come knocking at your door. But environment activism, driven by a strong sense of ‘green guilt’, has been rising in the city, attracting enough companies and vote chasers to talk about e-waste management. Recently, the pollution control board notified all major industries to register with the board so that a list can be prepared and their waste monitored.

“We do not have official records of e-waste yet as it is an emerging trend here. However, we have initiated measures to record and identify disposal mechanisms for them,” said Balraj Ahlawat, regional officer, Haryana State Pollution Control Board, Gurgaon.

“Companies involved in e-waste collection and recycling keep the industry to residential ratio of waste collection at 70:30. This is a major reason why companies do not make efforts to collect residential e-waste,” said Jayant Narayan, junior technical expert, GIZ Indo-German environmental programme.

Jayant says industries have now realized that the 30 per cent is an important chunk but adds that the problem with e-waste disposal by government departments is that of reserve price. “Usually government bodies keep reserve price for sale of electronic goods at 10 per cent of the cost price according to their auditing requirements. No recycler will be ready to pay such high prices for e-waste,” said Narayan. Experts believe that the capacity of the pollution control boards needs to be enhanced.

Nevertheless, some industry experts say that e-waste generated in Gurgaon is still at a nascent stage since there aren’t many manufacturing units for electronic products.

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