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‘UP ranks third in e-waste generation, but no recycling unit’

Uttar Pradesh ranks third in generation of electronic waste after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

lucknow Updated: Mar 14, 2019 12:03 IST
Chandan Kumar
Chandan Kumar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
E waste,Urban local bodies,No recycle unit
As per the E-Waste Management Rules, manufacturers of electric and electronic equipments must facilitate their collection and return it to authorized dismantlers or recyclers.(Representative image)

Uttar Pradesh ranks third in generation of electronic waste after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Despite this there was no existing system to recycle e-waste in state, said Prof VP Sharma of Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) while speaking at during a programme held on e-waste by department of environmental science of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU), Lucknow, on Wednesday.

Sharma said, “Five crore ton of e-waste was produced globally in 2018 where India contributes to about 20 Lakh ton of e-waste and ranks fifth among e-waste producing countries, after the US, China, Japan and Germany. Computer devices account for nearly 70% of e-waste, with the contribution of mobile phones and tablets being 12%, medical equipment being 8%, and electric equipments being 7% of the annual e-waste production.”

Scientists, experts and entrepreneurs also highlighted other aspects of the pressing issue which are affecting our environment and health in the country.

“Electronic waste accounts for 40% of lead and 70% of heavy metals found in our landfills. These pollutants are responsible for groundwater contamination, air and soil pollution,” said Shalini Sharma, CEO of Sanshodhan an E-WasteExchange programme.

The CEO said that the real issue is the way the e-waste is treated. “Nearly 95% of recycling of electronic waste is carried out by the unskilled labourers working in informal sector who are at great risk. It is the prerogative of the state government to formalise this sector by providing training and required infrastructure,” she said.

As per the E-Waste Management Rules, manufacturers of electric and electronic equipments must facilitate their collection and return it to authorized dismantlers or recyclers. “However, even after two years since the law was passed, there is little awareness and evidence that it is being implemented,” said Shalini Sharma.

Venkatesh Dutta, convener of the workshop, suggested that there was a strong need to devise proper and practical method for effective recycling of e-waste.

First Published: Mar 14, 2019 12:03 IST