Bengaluru produces 37 MT of harmful e-waste, third highest in the country

Only 12 percent of this is scientifically managed.

BENGALURU: The IT City has over the time become one of the largest generators of electronic waste. According to the NGO, Environmental Synergies in Development (Ensyde), Bengaluru produces around 37,000 metric tonnes of e-waste, the third highest after Mumbai and Delhi.

The waste constitutes discarded electronic equipment, which if incinerated emits poisonous gases and pollutants, leading to respiratory ailments. E-waste accounts for approximately 40% of the lead found in landfills.

“The mobile phone market is growing rapidly and disposal of used mobile phones is a big concern. As they are discarded unscientifically, around 70% of heavy metals are found in landfills. Due to the crude and unsafe recycling process, many pollutants can leach into the ground after rains and contaminate the groundwater,” warned Mr Mahesh Kashyap, a consultant with the Centre for Sustainable Development.

According to a study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), e-waste is expected to reach 130 million metric tonnes by next year and 52 lakh metric tonnes per annum by 2020 with a growth of about 30%.

The CEO and founder of Ensyde, Manvel Alur, told Deccan Chronicle, “Of 37,000 metric tonnes of waste, only 10% are managed scientifically. CPU and batteries account for major portion of the waste.”

Mr Kashyap believes that shipments of e-waste from abroad also add to the menace. “Western countries export large amounts of e-waste into India since the recycling business there is not economically viable due to rising cost of manpower. They look for countries where labour cost is low and environmental laws are implemented strictly.”

The Assocham report further states that e-waste workers in India suffer from asthma and bronchitis. It warns that if workers are children, they become incapable of working by the time they reach 35-40 years of age.

  • Bengaluru is the third largest producer of e-waste in the country
  • According to KSPCB, there are seven e-waste collection centres in the city
  • The city produces over 37,000 MT of e-waste. Of which, only 12% is managed scientifically
  • CPUs and batteries account for most of the e-waste
  • Ensyde says over 70% of e-waste is generated by bulk consumers, 15% by households and 15% by producers
( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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