by Ankith Kumar
Hello, citizens of Bangalore!
If you are one of the millions who use electronic items on an everyday basis this blog might be of importance to you. If you stay away from civilization, in the middle of a dense forest then this is one of the 99 problems you have avoided.
Technology has been a blessing for mankind, from smart phones and computers, without which we cannot function or hold a steady job to household electronics like refrigerators and TV’s on which our daily livelihood depends.
But as much as they help us during their product life, they become a huge problem when we have no use for them or have to dispose off them.
How you ask?!
Well do you really know what happens to them after we throw or sell them away? Where does it go? Who handles them? How does this come back and bite us?
Let me try to explain.
Indian households see e-waste as a marginal commodity to be sold to the highest bidder (the penny pinchers that we are). We commonly try to get the best value out of the broken electronic item by selling it to the local kabadiwalla (rag picker) or scrap dealer. (Mistake No.1) So you might get a Rupee or two for your broken gadgets. But is it viable in the long run?
The answer is NO!
The waste you sell is usually handled by informal workers who use unsafe and unscientific methods to extract the metals, this causes danger to air, water, soil. This may not be a big deal to you at the moment, but the fact that these natural resources polluted has an indirect impact on your health, is inevitable.
So is selling your electronics for a meagre amount worth the risk of spending a fortune on your health in the future? I’ll let you decide.
So now that we have established that you should not sell your e-waste to scrap dealers, you might think throwing your e-waste with dry waste is the best option, since it is collected by local government entities like Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). (Mistake No.2)
In simple words, more burden on your wallet in the future.
So, you can’t sell your e-waste or throw them, so what can you do? Hmm……
Before you call out your Hail Mary’s, there is some good news.
On Oct 31, 2016, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change released “E-waste Management rules”. The Rule has strengthened the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to ensure the take-back of end-of-life products. What this means is that your big companies like Apple and Samsung are forced to take back the electronics they sell to the market, after they come to the end of their life.
Remember next time you break your phone; your phone company will be happy to take it back.
To further strengthen this take back system for the producers, the govt came up with a new arrangement called Producer Responsibility Organisation or PRO.
What is a PRO?
A PRO is a professional organization which is authorized or financed collectively or individually by producers, to share the responsibility for collection and channelisation of e-waste generated from the ‘end-of-life’ products to ensure environmentally sound management of e-waste.
So is there a PRO in Bangalore, which will help you dispose e-waste to the right channels?
Lucky for you, I work for an initiative that does just that!
Saahas in partnership with Environmental Synergies in Development (ENSYDE), has implemented an initiative to encourage responsible e-waste management. The initiative focuses on non-bulk e-waste collection through sensitisation and multiple collection/disposal options for households and institutions. ENSYDE manages outreach and sensitization, while Saahas implements collection and logistics – bringing combined strengths to offer a programmatic solution that is efficient and practical.
From the start of the program in November 2016 they have reached out to hundreds of institutions and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) in Bangalore to bring them onboard the bE-Responsible Initiative. They have tied-up with recyclers authorised by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to ensure that the e-waste collected is managed in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. They have a reach to almost 40 wards in Bangalore at the moment.
Call for action
What are you waiting for? Go drop your e-waste at the nearest dropbox or Call us today at 7349737586. To schedule a pick up and get rid of those huge Monitors and TV’s gathering dust at home.
This is our opportunity to show the world that Bangalore and India are ready to deal with future problems and can set global credible standards concerning environmental and occupational health.
Don’t bE-waste, bE-Responsible.