Pune: City's solid waste management system has to bear an extra 30 per cent load of electronic waste (E Waste) not being segregated, collected or processed by government institutions. While the e-waste rules were implemented in 2011, even after three years the problem of domestic e–waste disposal and recycling remains.
According to Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Pune officials there are three e–waste collection centers in the city and four e–waste recyclers. Approximately 1000 Metric Ton (MT) of e–waste was processed and recycled in these recycling units. As the MPCB did not carry any studies of e–waste since 2008, the officials could not give any accurate figures and estimated that the e–waste generation has increased from 3000 MT in 2008 to 7000 MT this year.
"It is the waste coming from the IT belts of Hadapsar, Kharadi and Magarpatta areas which we collect the most. This waste usually has computers, copper and lead wires, laptops and other electrical equipments used in offices" said Dhaval Jitkar, Director of Ecocredibles Enviro Solutions Pvt Ltd. While the MPCB has permitted Ecocredibles to recycle 2000 MT per year, the company has been able to recycle 150 MT waste this year.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Solid Waste Department head Suresh Jagtap added, "For Municipal Solid Waste, the industrial, institutional and commercial e-waste is not a problem. Around 500 MT to 1000 MT e–waste generated in the city is of domestic nature, maximum 300 MT is being collected. Rest all is added to the municipal solid waste." The PMC is conducting awareness programs and campaigns for citizens to segregate their electrical waste.
One of the local waste collection center for e–waste is the SWACH organization who have been granted permission from the MPCB to collect 10 MT waste per month. "People do not segregate and our workers have to remove the batteries, mobile parts and other small electronic waste from the dump" said Maitreyi Shankar, co-ordinator of e–waste collection in SWACH. She added that segregation of waste needs extra attention as constant contact with heavy metals and chemicals from the electronic waste can pose a threat to health. A separate collection system should be organized for E waste.