Karnataka: No mechanism to handle e-waste, city faces disaster

Bengaluru: The Silicon City is hurtling towards a disaster as it struggles to dispose of over 2 lakh tonnes of e-waste produced every year. 

It is now the biggest producer of e-waste in the country and with no scientific mechanism in place for disposal, the environmental cost is huge, warn activists. 

“Most of the tubelights and CDs get into lakes and landfills. This is a cause for worry as this waste contains harmful metals, like mercury, and chemicals, which can mental health issues,” said Mr Ram Prasad, a solid waste management expert. 

Last year, the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change proposed amendments to the e-waste management rules which would help build the e-waste recycling eco-system in the country. 

At present, over 95% of e-waste is handled by the informal sector and is mixed with the normal dry waste collected by the BBMP. 

Mr Prasad said that to solve the problem, the responsibility should be fixed with the manufacturer. 

“There should be a take-back policy and manufacturers should accept their products back. The Extended Producer Responsibility policy in India is not strong. If we do not learn now, the lives of our future generations will be at risk,” he said. 

Mr Pranshu Singhal, the founder of Karo Sambhav an e-waste Producer Responsibility Organisation, said that e-waste is growing the fastest in the world. 

“The e-waste challenge can be solved when all the stakeholders take cognisance and work towards fulfilling their responsibilities. Our mobile app allows government agencies to track the movement of e-waste,” he said. 

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