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Delhi civic body will collect e-waste from doorstep, pay for it too

Around 90% of Delhi residents don’t know how to dispose of electronic waste, according to a 2016 study conducted by a non-governmental organisation Toxic Link.

delhi Updated: Jul 18, 2018 13:19 IST
Delhi civic body,e-waste,New Delhi Municipal Council
People working at e-waste market at Seelampur in New Delhi. (Arijit Sen/HT Photo )

Residents of Lutyens’ Delhi will soon be able to discard their electronic waste in an environment-friendly manner and will also be able to earn some extra money in the process.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) will start a facility for door-to-door collection of old electronic appliances such as refrigerators, laptops, mobile phones, desktops, printers and water-coolers from homes and offices that fall under NDMC’s jurisdiction. The council will also pay money to people in lieu of their old gadgets.

The project has been taken to ensure proper disposal of e-waste in the national Capital, officials said. Around 90% of Delhi residents don’t know how to dispose of electronic waste, according to a 2016 study conducted by a non-governmental organisation Toxic Link.

The civic agency said it has initiated the tendering process for the project and the facility is likely to begin in the next two months.

“The person or company selected for the job will be responsible for e-waste collection from NDMC’s offices, schools, hospitals as well as residential areas,” said a senior NDMC official.

Experts say most people don’t realise the consequence of discarding e-waste in an improper manner. These gadgets often land up in makeshift workshops, where metal is extracted of them using the crudest methods releasing a range of toxic elements.

“Once the gadgets reach unauthorised extractors, the devices are broken down, burnt and bathed in acid just to extract metals, despite the fact the recycling is e-waste is banned in Delhi. This crude process emits toxic fumes and chemicals that make way into the drains, and then to rivers and water bodies,” said Satish Sinha, associate director, Toxic Link.

Piles of electronics

“Though the e-waste management rules 2016 emphasises on producers’ responsibility for collecting e-waste in certain percentage every year, very few are following these norms. In fact, they are paying little attention to generate awareness among people for disposing the waste properly,” said Swati Singh Sambyal of Centre for Science and Environment.

“To ensure that the recycling of e-waste is done in a more environment friendly manner, we are approaching all the recyclers registered with the Central Pollution Control Board or State Pollution Control Committee for participating in tendering process,” said the official.

“The collector will need to share the details of goods collected by them with us so that we can build data about the tentative amount of e-waste generated every month,” said the NDMC official.

The civic agency will also identify at least five collection centres at resident welfare associations or market associations’ offices, NDMC’s service centres or parking lots for dropping off their e-waste.

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 10:31 IST