The national capital region (NCR) may become the world’s dumping capital for e-waste as it would generate an estimated 50,000 tonnes of this per annum by 2015, according to a study by Assocham titled, “E waste in India by 2015”.
At present, Delhi generates around 30,000 tonnes of e-waste per annum as per the report.
E-waste comprises of all waste from electronic appliances that have reached their end- of- life or are nearing their life cycle end period and can no longer be used.
“As many as 8,500 mobile handsets, 5,500 TV sets and 3,000 personal computers are dismantled in the city every day for reuse of their component parts and materials,” said Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat.
The study said the recyclers working in the NCR region are poorly-protected in an environment where e-waste from electronic devices are burned in the open, which releases lead and mercury toxins into the air.
According to the study, Delhi gets around 85 percent of the e-waste from the developed world.
“Mumbai and Chennai are the top importers of junk computers and electronic waste in India but Delhi has emerged as the main hub of e-waste recycling in India, and perhaps the world,” said the study.
“Domestic e-waste including computer, TV, mobiles and refrigerators contain over 1,000 toxic material, which contaminate soil and ground water. Exposure can cause headache, irritability, nausea, vomiting, eye pain. Recyclers may suffer liver, kidney and neurological disorders”, said Dr. B K Rao, Chairman of ASSOCHAM Health committee releasing the ASSOCHAM paper.
Much of the E-waste is disposed off without properly going through a recycling process, which results in huge quantities of non-biodegradable plastics as well as potentially toxic heavy metals being released into the environment without proper controls. Read more here.
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