Sunday, 23 February 2014

E-Waste for Environmental Conservation

Isn't there an old saying about viewing problems as opportunities? Well, that exactly is the inspiration behind GreenLine’s ‘e4E’ campaign.

E-waste (electronic and electrical waste) has now become a major menace the world over. Or more precisely, the disposal of e-waste poses a serious challenge because it contains a number of toxic substances such as lead and cadmium in circuit boards; lead oxide and cadmium in monitor cathode ray tubes (CRTs); mercury in switches and flat screen monitors; cadmium in computer batteries; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in older capacitors and transformers; and brominated flame retardants on printed circuit boards. E-waste also includes plastic casings, cables and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cable insulation that release highly toxic dioxins and furans when burned to retrieve copper from the wires.

Probably what exacerbates this problem is the general lack of awareness regarding e-waste. Many have not even heard this term! Most people treat e-waste as any other waste – they pop it off to kabadiwalas (informal scrap dealers), or just dump it in the municipal garbage bins. From the municipal bins, when this e-waste is land filled or incinerated, it poses significant environmental problems. At the landfills, the e-waste leach toxins into groundwater; and if it is incinerated, it emits toxic air pollutants. Similarly, the kabadiwala sells it to informal recyclers, where again it causes serious occupational and environmental implications, because of the crude ways in which it is recycled.

Significantly, since May 2012, there is a regulation in place (E-waste Management and Handling Rules, 2011) that makes it mandatory to dispose off e-waste only with licensed e-waste handlers, who in turn have to ensure the safe disposal of this waste. But we are oblivious of this rule, and even if we are aware of it, how do we even find these licensed e-waste recyclers?

Well, this brings me back to the ‘e4E Campaign’ that is being promoted by GreenLine across Mumbai. The key objectives of this campaign are:
 Raise awareness about the e-waste issue
 Introduce citizens to safe e-waste disposal through licensed e-waste recyclers
 Support vulture conservation through the proceeds of the campaign

To raise awareness and to introduce citizens to safe e-waste disposal, GreenLine is organising e-waste collection drives in localities, institutions and companies.  The e-waste collected through the campaign will be bought and safely disposed by RecylceKaro, and the proceeds from the same will be donated to Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra for their Vulture Conservation Project.

Well, there you have it! The problem of e-waste has been converted into an opportunity to support a much needed conservation project. E-waste for environmental conservation – e4E!

If you would like to join this Campaign or to organize an E-Waste Collection drive in your Locality, Institution or Company, please:
 Call 022-24174468
 Email:

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