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A Toxics-Free Future


IT companies generate 4,000 tonnes of e-waste

IPEN Participating Organization Guide Foundation for Development is featured in this article from the Deccan Chronicle:

Sumit Kumar Onka

Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam: IT and ITes companies located in and around Hyderabad generate over 4,000 metric tonnes of e-waste annually. According to a report from National Association of Software and Services Companies Foundation, while 39 per cent of the companies store their e-waste for a period of one year, 15 per cent of the companies dispose them of within six months.
Realising the challenge for collection and scientific disposal of e-waste from the IT sector, the Telangana state government, TS Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and Nasscom Foundation have come together along with some NGOs to collect e-waste from IT companies in bulk and also place bins in the campuses of IT companies. TSIIC environmental engineer Maloth Nanu said that they have conducted a study to take feedback on what steps should be taken to collect e-waste. “We facilitate IT to give their e-waste to authorised companies which have technology and technical knowledge to scientifically dispose off the e-waste,” he said.
Mr Nanu said the important part of the TSIIC-Nasscom Foundation programme is to identify from the e-waste generated by IT companies whether some of it can be repaired, refurbished and re-used. “Recently, 10 such computers were repaired and given to an ITI college in Khairatabad,” he said. Other e-waste is sent for recycling after which the left over material is disposed off scientifically.
As part of clean e-India initiative, the Guide Foundation for Development a NGO from Hyderabad, has also joined hands with Attero, an asset management and recycling company to implement “safe and responsible” waste collection and recycling of electronic and electrical goods in the city. Clean e-India initiative was jointly launched in April 2013 by International Finance Corporation.
GFFD plans to approach informal waste collectors (kabaadiwallahs) and transform them into an organised network. As part of this association, GFFD will take the lead to create a robust ecosystem for responsible electronic waste collection and disposal by generating awareness amongst educational institutions and residential complexes.
Proposed e-waste centre in Vizag yet to take off
The port city is yet to become smart with regard to recycling of electronic gadgets. The government’s plan to set up an e-waste disposal centre in the city has failed to take off so far. After a lot of hue and cry, an e-waste treatment plant has been proposed to be set up at Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City.
AP Pollution Control Board’s Vizag division environment engineer Lakshmi Narayana said efforts are on to set up e-waste disposal centre at the earliest in the city. A survey is going on as to how much e-waste is generated per month in the city, he added.
E-wastes are taken by unauthorised collectors for extraction of metals from the products or sometimes taken to Bengaluru and Hyderabad for processing. 
At a time when the city itself is unable to dispose of the locally generated e-waste, dumping from the West is adding to the woes of e-waste disposal. 
Vizag port among other ports in Chennai and Gujarat has emerged as major import point of e-waste into the country. Though, local customs feign ignorance of any import of these used gadgets, traders in Delhi, confirm that, they get these used items from Vizag.