An average Mumbaiite produces seven times the electronic waste generated by an average Indian, according to figures compiled from various industry reports by NASSCOM Foundation, a non-profit working with the Centre to spread awareness about of e-waste.
E-waste is broken or old electronic gadgets, including parts of computers, TV sets, stereos, copiers, mobile phones, phone chargers, electric cables, batteries and fax machines which contain plastics, metals. Some of the components can be toxic and can contaminate soil and water, but valuable material can be recycled.
India’s population of 1,240 million, according to the 2011 Census, generates around 18.5 lakh MT of electronic waste a year, and the number is likely to touch 30 lakh by 2018, states the survey. This means, the amount of e-waste generated for a person is 1.49kg a year.
According to the 2011 Census, Mumbai has a population of 12.4 million, which accounts for 1 per cent of the country’s population. The study shows Mumbai produces 1.2 lakh MT or 12,00,00,000 kg of e-waste a year, which means 9.6kg of e-waste for a person.
Mumbai topped the NASSCOM’s list of metropolitan cities producing e-waste, followed by Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune.
The study found 70% population in the country does not know how to recycle e-waste.
E-waste contains hazardous material which can harm human, animal and plant life if not disposed of scientifically.
“We have taken up initiatives to tackle e-waste, but they have not been enough,” said Shrikant Sinha, chief executive officer (CEO), NASSCOM Foundation.
According to Sinha, three issues need immediate attention – increasing e-waste in each household, lack of sufficient recycling centres and unscientific disposal of 95% of the waste, mostly in dumping grounds.
“There is a need is to sensitise people how to dispose of the waste, develop private recycling centres in every locality with help from the state and central government,” said Sinha, adding, “The main effort would be to reach out to the informal sector such as ragpickers to train them to understand the importance of heavy metals, their cost, how they can be reused by industries and the profit they can make from it.”
How the other cities fare according to the study
|City||E-waste generated in a year (in metric tonnes)|