Guwahati in dire need of e-waste hazard awareness
Experts have cautioned awareness among people against the increasing health hazards associated with the disposal of ewaste, primarily computers.
Recycling e-waste has become a major concern for the city civic body.
Guwahati is among the 10 cities selected by the ministry of electronics and information technology which is in dire need to create e-waste awareness.
Amarjyoti Kashyap, an expert in solid waste management, said e-waste is a major threat to all cities. “We are yet to have any systematic means of recycling the waste. With the ever-increasing use of electronic gadgets, all of us might be victims of the side effects of various complicated diseases caused by e-waste in the future,” warned Kashyap, who is the president of Environ, an NGO, bestowed with the responsibility of creating awareness on e-waste by the ministry.
Lead, cadmium, beryll i um or brominated flame retardants, which can be extremely harmful to health, are found in e-waste. Kashyap said they have started their campaign in schools, colleges and other educa- tional institutes besides corporate houses.
“Immediately, we have to make people aware of the harmful effects of e-waste. Later, we can think of recyling,” he said. Other cities that need to step up awareness on electronic waste are Imphal, Bhubaneshwar, Indore, Kolkata, Moradabad, Panjim, Patna, Pondicherry and Ranchi.
The waste is primarily generated from homes and the IT sector. “If the waste is segregated properly at the time of disposal, the problem can he easily sorted out,” said Kashyap, adding that the battery and printed circuit should be taken out at the time of disposing them to an informal sector for recycling. “It becomes harmful when acid is used to recover the metal parts. This is highly unscientific,” said Kashyap.
Around 1.7 MT e-waste is generated every year in India on an average and this comes mainly from households, consumers and the IT sector. The exact figure for Assam was not available. The Guwahati Municipal Corporation also does not have any plan for e-waste disposal. “We have solid waste management plans. We hope to have a separate e-waste management plan in the coming days,” said an official of the GMC