Hyderabad: Majority of households in Telangana state are guilty of improper e-waste disposal. The city ranks sixth by producing nearly 32,000 tonnes of waste.
Mr Ravinder Sunil, who studies pollution, said, “The generation of e-waste continues to increase. Although the state government announced an e-waste programme, it is yet to come into force. The mixing of waste that cannot be recycled — objects with mercury in them — are carelessly disposed of instead of being sent to an e-waste dealer designated by the PCB that pays households for their waste.” Very recently LED lights were included in the e-waste category and where items are being reviewed by the environment ministry.
PCB executive Officer Kumar P. said, “The lifespan of the product matters because depending on the same, one can recycle, rework or dispose it. It is not possible to track every product sold. Companies have been asked to keep records to meet their EPR but this is generally flouted with middlemen, online websites and others contributing to sales.”
Collection agents are crucial for industries as they initiate the collection process from consumers. Motherboards and even tubelights are problematic items for proper disposal. The white powder in tubelights contains mercury which is removed before it is crushed and buried.
E-waste finding itself into water bodies, the groundwater is also at a risk of contamination. Lithium in mobile phones and batteries can leach through soil.
“The mixing of e-waste with solid waste is a very common mistake that is not checked by even municipal garbage collectors. The awareness about the same should increase. Treating e waste as regular waste will only increase the problem,” says Ravinder....