To try to prevent electronic waste, including old cell phones, from being broken down by primitive and ultimate dangerous methods of recycling by those outside the formal sector, the TNPCB (Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board) has asked various local bodies, among them the Chennai Corporation, to assist in the setting up of collection centers for electronic waste.
Barely five percent of the total amount of electronic waste that is being created ends up coming into the formal sector, says K Karthikeyan, a member secretary of the TNPCB. The move should to inspire the formal sector to disassemble and dispose of electronic waste, he adds, with pilot collection centers set to be set up in one zone in each wards.
“A survey of e-waste generation sources, including industries, commercial establishments, home appliance sellers and households, will be conducted soon,” Karthikeyan notes. “This has been stressed in the e-waste policy of the State government.”
Arun Senthilram from Toxic Link, who is likewise also a member of the of the E-waste policy drafting committee in the State, believes that there is a real lack of awareness about the issue of electronic waste among the general public and that steps need to be taken to counteract this lack of knowledge. “Many firms claim to recycle e-waste, however several are not,” Senthilram claims. “They only dismantle waste in a crude, rudimentary manner. An enterprise audit must be performed by TNPCB to ensure proper handling of e-waste.”