existing informal recycling system poses environment
and health hazards
A German e-waste management
expert has underlined the need to immediately
conduct a Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipments
(WEEE) assessment in Chennai.
Such an assessment is required
to prepare an inventory of e-waste as the present
informal recycling system posed "great
environmental and health threat", said
Jurgen Porst, the expert serving as the senior
adviser with the Karnataka State Pollution Control
Addressing Enviro-2005, a conference
on environmental safety and health, organized
by the Confederation of Indian Industry, southern
region, here on Tuesday, Dr. Porst urged the
Tamil Nadu Government to establish a nodal agency
in Chennai, on the lines of that set up in Karnataka,
to look into e-waste management in the city.
landfill: It is imperative for
Chennai and Kerala devise ways to introduce
scientific e-waste and hazardous waste management
systems, including creation of a scientific
landfill using compacted clay layer, HDPE sheets
and geo-textile sheets.
Stating this, he said it was
important to train and upgrade the formal recycling
units, as the crude recycling practices, particularly
the open air burning of toxic metals pose health
and environment hazards. The units were attracted
to the field because of the small quantity of
gold and high value metal deposits found in
the electronic components.
policy: A CII press release
said Dr. Porst observed at the meeting that
there was no policy either at the State or national
level to address the challenges posed by e-waste.
Delhi disposed a minimum of
12, 000 tonnes of e-waste in 2004. Bangalore,
which had 1,322 software companies, 38 hardware
units and business process outsourcing units
with a workforce of 60, 000, disposed 8, 000
tonnes of the waste last year.
units: However,there were only
two modern recycling units in Bangalore.
Dr. Porst said the State Government
should consider incorporating extended manufactures
responsibility in their IT policies prescribing
norms that the manufacturers and user industries
had to follow while disposing e-waste.
In India, the average lifetime
of a computer is expected to drop from the present
eight years to six years in a couple of years.