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Your e-litter?s their poison!

HOW MANY times have you tossed a used floppy disc, printer cartridge or CD into the dustbin? Several times, possibly for years now? right? But have you ever found out where the used floppy, printer cartridge or the CD goes from your trash? It becomes deadly diet for street dogs, pigs and cows who munch along the toxic waste believed to be containing high levels of lead, polymers and other chemicals wrapped in paper!!!

india Updated: Feb 12, 2006 00:44 IST

HOW MANY times have you tossed a used floppy disc, printer cartridge or CD into the dustbin? Several times, possibly for years now… right?

But have you ever found out where the used floppy, printer cartridge or the CD goes from your trash? It becomes deadly diet for street dogs, pigs and cows who munch along the toxic waste believed to be containing high levels of lead, polymers and other chemicals wrapped in paper!!!

A few months back, a corporate house put out a note for all its employees instructing them not to throw any used floppy, CD, printer cartridge or printer ribbon into their individual dustbins. Instead, the employees were asked, to offer this e-waste for shredding in special machines. The directive came after a number of street dogs were regularly found dead near a “dumping” area outside the office with clear evidence of the animals having “chewed” away floppies and printer cartridges wrapped in paper.

Acting Municipal Commissioner Santosh Kumar told HT Lucknow Live that a note had been taken of the situation and an inquiry could be conducted in all areas having large commercial establishments to check indiscriminate dumping of e-waste along with a probe into the deaths of stray animals along the roadside if their bodies were found near public garbage dumping sites. “LMC will hold people responsible for the deaths of animals due to indiscriminate dumping of toxic e-waste in the city. It is urged that people respect the lives of all animals and refrain from throwing toxic waste openly on the streets,” he said.

“We believe that even cows have been chewing a lot of e-waste such as floppies and printer cartridges as people throw them in large opaque paper bags,” a senior manager of the corporate house told HT Lucknow Live.

Lucknow generates millions of tonnes of e-waste dumped indiscriminately by commercial organizations near their establishments every year. Since there is no segregation of the toxic material, we do not know how many children are ingesting e-waste through cows’ milk as cows munch along the thick paper in which the e-waste is thrown, he said.

A flood of Non Government Organisations (NGOs) have been focusing only on polythene as the major toxic menace munched by animals. A far dangerous challenge is posed by the e-waste chewed by dogs and cows along with the paper these items are wrapped in. In developed countries, heavy fines are imposed for dumping of e-waste in public areas!

First Published: Feb 12, 2006 00:44 IST