PCB starts first e-waste collection drive across Kashmir
Srinagar/IBNS: To decrease electronic waste pollution, the J&K Pollution Control Board (PCB) started the first-ever door-to-door waste collection of discarded gadgets and devices.
Through the initiative, people in Kashmir are being informed about the e-waste collection project using advertisements in the media.
Speaking about the initiative, PCB Member Secretary B M Sharma said electric waste was one of the most challenging issues owing to the massive impact it has on the ecology.
He said that the drive was meant to create awareness among the individuals and the bulk of consumers about the hazards of e-waste disposal unscientifically and the facilities to save the environment.
“We hope to generate mass awareness about how the e-waste damages the fragile ecosystem of J&K but now there is a body at their doorsteps to help them be environment-friendly with the massive bulk of waste from their gadgets and devices,” he said.
PCB Senior Scientist Anuradha Gupta said India was the third-largest producer of electronic waste.
She said a huge quantity of e-waste was brought into the country in the guise of second-hand computers and electronic items and most people were unaware of how this posed a risk to the environment.
Gupta said that most consumers would either keep a scrap of electronics stored in their homes or dispose of it with a scrap vendor.
“The scrap vendors dispose of the waste in a very crude manner and end up harming the ecology and also losing the precious metals that can be extracted from this waste,” she said.
She added the scrap could yield precious metals like gold, silver, platinum and other metals if recycled properly.
The PCB has roped in recyclers with the required infrastructure and is collecting scrap to channelise it to reduce the impact on ecology.
“No doubt the consumers will have a little less payback from their scrap but they will be acting as responsible citizens and doing their bit in reducing harm to nature with their ever-increasing bulk of e-waste,” she said.
There are 25 registered recyclers of e-waste in India and only one in the union territory
The government is setting up an integrated recycling plant in Jammu and the collection centres are being set up across the districts.
These e-waste components are dangerous for human health and many of these are known to cause anomalies and malignancies and adverse effects on the brain, kidney, liver and other organs have been documented by many researchers.