E-waste plant to come up at Bhiwand | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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E-waste plant to come up at Bhiwand

The leading generator of electronic junk in the country, Mumbai is a step closer to getting its first public e-waste processing plant.

mumbai Updated: Oct 29, 2011 02:31 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

The leading generator of electronic junk in the country, Mumbai is a step closer to getting its first public e-waste processing plant.

After much scouting around, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has identified a four-hectare plot at Mankavli village near Bhiwandi, where a facility with a capacity to treat 15,000 metric tonne of e-waste per annum will be operational by 2015. The authority invited bids from parties interested in building and running the plant earlier this week.

E-waste comprises electronic products like television sets, personal computers, cell phones,and other such goods that have run the course of their utility. They are made up of various components, some of which are extractable precious metals, while some contain toxic substances.

Most of these products are currently broken down by the unorganised sector, which uses crude methods, resulting in environmental damage and wastage of precious metals due.

For example, cathode ray tubes used in television screens, if dismantled in an improper way, can release toxic phosphor into the environment. Extracting metals like copper and gold in open acid baths generates toxins such as dioxins, heavy metals, lead, cadmium, mercury and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Acid and chemical residues contaminate water and soil.

As per the e-waste inventory assessment by Maharashta Pollution Control Board e-waste in the state is projected to increase from 56,901 tonne in 2008 to 5.07 lakh tonne in 2020, with the Mumbai metropolitan region driving the majority of this growth — generating from 32,767 tonne of e-waste in 2008 to 2.92 lakh tonne in 2020.

To tide over this problem, e-waste will be dismantled, separated and different parts segregated at the plant near Mumbai-Nashik highway. The operator of the processing unit will recover his investment by extracting precious metals from these products. “Setting up the e-waste processing unit will help in ensuring scientific processing of this waste and in protecting the environment,” said Rahul Asthana, commissioner of MMRDA.

Work on the project is likely to commence 2012-end.