E-waste adds to pollution woes

Published Dec 3, 2015, 7:58 am IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 9:18 pm IST
Citizens dump e-waste along with garbage, poses threat
Representational image
 Representational image
Hyderabad: Even as the crucial climate summit in Paris is discussing ways and means of reducing global warming, there is no system of collection of electrical and electronic waste from houses, colonies, educational institutions, private and government offices in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
As a result, citizens either dump their e-waste along with the garbage generated at home or sell it to the local kabadiwala, in both cases causing harm to the environment. The local kabadiwala sells it to scrap dealers who do not have the proper knowhow to dispose of the e-waste.
It is estimated that nearly 4,000 metric tonnes of e-waste is generated every year at homes, educational institutions, private and government offices in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and other towns.
The pollution control noards of both the states have failed to set up or even facilitate through private agencies, e-waste collection centres for citizens and other categories of users. The two boards have failed in creating awareness about the heat, toxic gases and radiation emitted by electrical and electronic gadgets that are used daily at home and that add to global warming if not disposed of properly.
In fact, there are guidelines laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board for collection, refurbishment, recycling and disposal of e-waste in every state. And these guidelines have been adopted by respective state PCBs but its implementation has been confined to the websites of the two boards.
Though there are two agencies in Hyderabad — Ramky and Earth Sense — authorised by the Pollution Control Board to collect e-waste from even residential areas, both the firms have done little to collect it from colonies or at least by placing bins in association with Residential Welfare Associations.
TSPCB chief environmental scientist Dr Ravinder passed the buck stating it was the duty of the authorised agencies to create awareness, place bins and collect e-waste. The TSPCB is also identifying locations in the city where bins have to be placed for collection of e-waste.
Earth Sense Hyderabad general manager Kashyam Devulapalli said they had attempted placing bins at various locations in Cyberabad area for e-waste collection. But residents dumped even kitchen waste into the bins. 
Also, the government should identify the space where the bins should be placed as each bin will cost a minimum of Rs 25,000 as it needs bigger bins to accommodate worn out computers, refrigerators, air conditioners. The APPCB is considering encouraging e-waste collection centres across the state. 
At a meeting held recently with all officials of the board, member secretary B.S.S. Prasad emphasised the need for e-waste management in the state in view of increasing e-waste. Streamlining of e-waste collection can be done only if something is paid to those who come forward to give away their old gadgets and other electronic and electrical devices, he added.
Little done to cut emissions
Overdependence on coal-based thermal power plants for energy requirements in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh continues to be a major cause of worry for environmentalists as well as the government.
Both TS and AP are taking up projects to add 30,000 MW of thermal power plants in the next five years to achieve power for all 24x7. Environmentalist S. Jeevanand Reddy said coal fired thermal power plants are one of the main contributors for atmospheric pollution and greenhouse gases.
Emissions that come from these plants are major contributors to green house gases and global warming. Emissions like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide lead to global warming and possible acid rain. “Particulate emissions — the fine dust that emanates from the stacks of power plants is a health hazard. Elements like mercury, cadmium and lead are hazardious,” he said.
As it is, TS and AP have existing power plants with an installed capacity of 18,531 MW of which nearly 13,000 MW is dependent on fossil fuels, a majority of which is coal based. Renewable energy source based plants account for less than one  per cent of the total installed capacity apart from which 3,734 MW is hydroelectric based. 




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Location: Telangana