E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams and India is the 5th largest generator of e-waste. Bengaluru is the third largest generator of e-waste in the country, producing close to 1,00,000 tons of e-waste annually which is likely to grow by 500% by 2020.
Presently in India, more than 90% of e-waste ends up in the informal sector for recycling with serious repercussions on human health and the environment. The informal sector works on small scale with minimal facilities and equipment to take care of the hazardous elements like lead, mercury, cadmium etc. present in the e-waste. E-waste also has some REE (Rare Earth Elements) that need to be extracted and recycled efficiently which can only be done in well-equipped facilities.
Saahas, an NGO based in Bengaluru, and Environmental Synergies in Development (ENSYDE) together have initiated a program to create awareness and facilitate collection of household electronic waste (e-waste) in Bangalore. The e-waste collected through this program will be routed to authorized e-waste recyclers.
Awareness on e-waste in 10 wards
The bE-Responsible program in its first phase is being implemented in 10 wards in South Bangalore, creating awareness about the problems due to improper disposal of e-waste and what is the right way to dispose it. The awareness program will be run in Households and Institutions (schools, colleges, hospitals, offices, retail, etc.) through workshops, campaigns, emails, and social media.
The awareness drive is supported by the on-ground collection system which includes door-to-door collection drives, drop-off boxes at Bangalore One Centres and a mobile collection van. As part of the program, e-waste drop-off boxes have been placed in nine Bangalore One centers in south Bangalore which are secure, easily accessible to the public and are open on all seven days of the week.
The program was launched by T H Vishwanath, Joint Commissioner, South Zone in presence of the Corporator, ward 178, at the J P Nagar, Phase 1 Bangalore One Center in on 17th February 2017. Also present on the occasion were N.S.Ramakanth, Member, SWM Expert committee, Residents of RWAs in J P Nagar and students from Samved School, J P Nagar. Household e-waste collected by the students was dropped at the e-bin placed at the Bangalore One center, J P Nagar, Phase 1. The program is being supported by VMWare and they were represented by Chirag Arora. Subrahmanyam Ivatury of Social Convergence was also present.
Over 250 kgs of e-waste in one month
The initiative which was started in January 2017 has already collected over 250 kgs of e-waste and reached out to about 1500 individuals.
Saahas was founded in 2001 and is a non-profit organization in the field of waste management. Its programs focus on “Source Segregation” and “Decentralized Waste Management”. Saahas builds sustainable solutions for different waste streams and also focuses on strengthening capacities of public institutions like the Municipal Corporation as well as supports progressive policies around waste management.
Environmental Synergies in Development (ENSYDE) founded in 2003 is not for profit Trust providing turnkey services in environmental design solutions & awareness. Through the various projects and initiatives, ENSYDE has assisted clients in CSR, extending and improving markets, creation of new markets, particularly ensuring sustainability through new avenues and markets. ENSYDE has assisted over 50 companies in integration of environmental sustainability into their business operations and planning.