Details given are very informative and may help concerned Bengalureans to do their bit for a Clean Bengaluru. But how many of them are really concerned is a matter of conjecture. With regard to E-Waste, it includes computers, refrigerators, television sets, mobiles, printers, key boards, mother boards, LED bulbs, wires, Ubiquitous batteries of various types, etc. About 4 to 6 lakh tons of e.waste is generated annually in India and is expected to double by 2020. A lot of E.waste is collected by rag pickers and also traded on footpaths. Life span of these gadgets depends upon usage, they are not bio-degradable and they contain harmful metals like Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, Lithium, Mercury, Nickel, Rare Earth Element, Selenium Zinc, Sulphide etc. Their unscientific disposal through garbage dumps results in Toxic emissions that pollute air, soil and ground water and once the contamination takes place, it is impossible to use such natural resources.
• Laws in India have been framed but enforcement is lacking; this has led to a number of IT industries releasing such E-waste into scrap market.
• India and other developing countries have become dumping yards of e.waste for Western/European countries
• ‘Made in China’ computer hardwares and electronic cheap goods have become the bane of authorities because the products are becoming scrap in no time; for example, the emergency lights being sold on footpaths contain lot of mercury behind the LED bulbs.
• Corporates are donating a number of outdated hardware with outmoded software under the guise of Corporate Social Responsibility. These are installed in Government/Corporation schools etc., only to become obsolete due to poor maintenance and upkeep.
• There is no accountability for maintenance by those philanthropists if the systems do not work and ultimately India will be saddled with such toxic waste; we have made rules but do not have expertise
• Some E-wastes contain valuable metals like gold, silver and copper
• Untrained scrap dealers/rag pickers are engaged in collection and disposal in an unscientific manner
• Women and children are seen to have been engaged for recovering some of these metals through unscientific methods like burning e.waste to recover metals like copper, nickel, aluminium etc., in plastic wires
• They are exposing themselves to toxic emissions that cause lung and allergic problems and unknown dangers like cancer etc.
As a World Bank Honored Innovator, I have two variants of successful best practice adopted for preparing products that help us in permanently locking up e.waste in safe places without intervention of nano-technology or million dollars investment for recovery of various metals and rare earth included during the process of manufacturing various electronic parts by IT hardware industry.
Process is simple, easy, doable, replicable, economical and sustainable:
I – E.BRICK
– Collect e.waste like mother boards etc., that contain toxic elements
– Pound them into bits and manageable pieces – no need to segregate
– Take six measures of river sand or m.sand
– Over that, put two measures of cement
– Mix well and then with required quantity of water prepare the mix like we prepare for plastering walls
– Pour one measure of e.waste and mix well – this is ‘e.brick mix’
– Take a brick making box and pour the e.brick mix, press with the handle till excess water comes out – allow to dry reasonably say for about 4 hours
– Slowly open the box and slide it out e.brick on to some thinly spread sand
– Solar dry for a few days with periodical sprinkling of water so that they get set and do not develop cracks.
– CALL THIS GREEN PRODUCT AS E.BRICK – use it like any other brick for construction of partition walls under beams/columns of buildings or use for construction of compound walls where these bricks need not bear the load bearing.
The pounded bits and pieces can be poured into the already manufactured ready made hollow blocks and sealed. The hollow blocks are being used by construction industry for building walls etc. Hollow block manufacturers can either buy and pour these bits and pieces into the hollow blocks before the blocks are kept one over the other and plastered. This way, considerable quantity of e.waste can be permanently locked up.
ADVANTAGES OF E.BRICKS & E.BLOCKS : Deadly toxic e.waste that may leach and create toxicity in the ground water, can be permanently locked up;
– Saves our earth from environmental pollution
– Reduces cost of construction material
– Construction industry can adopt this as a green initiative since it has been branded as one of the dangerous causes for spewing of CO2 due to monstrous buildings that deflect heat into the atmosphere with consequent climate change and global warming.
Vasanthkumar Mysoremath, IAAD (Retd)
World Bank Honored Innovator, Environmentalist
Social Activist, Mysuru
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