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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Don’t dump gadgets, recycle them: 40 Mumbai societies show to do it, collect 700kg of e-waste

Mumbai city news: The group Eco-Rox and Adhata Trust carried out the e-waste collection drive from the last week of May to June 5

mumbai Updated: Jul 12, 2017 10:34 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Residents from a housing society weigh e-waste.
Residents from a housing society weigh e-waste.(HT)

As the city struggles to dispose of its electronic waste (e-waste) safely, 40 housing societies and two educational institutes from Chembur, Sion and Matunga collected and recycled 700kg of e-waste over the past two weeks to mark World Environment Day.

The group Eco-Rox and Adhata Trust, which runs a welfare centre for senior citizens along with the Rotary Club of Navi Mumbai, carried out the e-waste collection drive from the last week of May to June 5. It encouraged citizens not to send their e-waste to dumping grounds as it contains toxic ingredients that can contaminate the soil, water and air.

“Citizens have given a very encouraging response keep the environment clean,” said Harsha Mehta, president of Eco-Rox. “We went door-to-door to sensitise residents and college students.”

The NGO placed collection boxes outside various housing societies, including Avanti Apartments in Matunga, Karmakshetra and Seva Samiti housing complexes in Sion, and Navdurga Apartments, Deonar House and Sabari Ashiana apartments in Chembur. Similarly, e-waste was also collected from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Chembur and Guru Nanak College of Arts, Science & Commerce in Sion-Koliwada.

“The 700kg e-waste was handed over to a private recycling company at Tarapur,” said Rashmi Joshi, joint secretary, Eco-Rox. “The group segregates the waste into metals and returns it to industries.”

The housing societies collected damaged electronic items such as batteries, wires, chargers, headphones, mobiles, computers, printers, television sets, refrigerators and cameras. “This drive is just the beginning as the city has to go a long way to reduce its e-waste,” said Kamlesh Mehta, resident of Karmakshetra housing complex, who participated in the drive. “If e-waste is segregated and collected separately, it will save the city from air pollution, ground water contamination and also fires at dumping grounds.”

“There needs to be more such drives in the city and more participation from residents. It only helps create awareness about ill-effects to our health,” said Ela Thakur, resident of Navdurga Society, Chembur.

HT had reported on May 19 that an average Mumbaiite produces seven times the amount of electronic waste as compared to an average Indian. E-waste contains hazardous materials such lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and barium, which can harm human, animal and plant life if not disposed of safely.

According to the study by NASSCOM Foundation, a non-profit organisation, India’s 1,240 million people generate 1.85 million tonnes (MT) of e-waste every year, which means on an average, a person contributes 1.49 kg. Mumbai’s 12.4 million residents (2011 census) produce 1,20,000 tonnes of e-waste, whcih translated into 9.6kg per person.

First Published: Jun 12, 2017 00:36 IST

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