Used cell phones and other forms of electronic waste are not being disposed of properly in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, resulting in an e-waste problem that is rapidly getting out of control, according to experts. IT companies and government offices in the state are starting to stockpile huge amounts of electronic waste, including old cell phones, with no apparent understanding of the dangers posed by such items due to the harmful materials they contain, such as lead and mercury.
“Electronic goods like cell phones, LCDs, calculators and automatic and lead batteries can be very dangerous when attempts to disintegrate or recycle are made,” says the manager of the AP Technology Service’s e-waste project, K Chandra Shekhar. “Also the plastic in the electronic goods can become hazardous along with the poisonous and radioactive material.”
The Information Technology sector in the state of Andhra Pradesh is starting to expand rapidly, but that unfortunately carries the side effect of ever expanding e-waste, a consideration that nobody seem to have accounted for, despite government officials starting to slowly become aware that the levels of e-waste are starting to reach “unthinkable amounts”. Very few offices in the state have any ability to recycle old cell phones or any of their other types of e-waste and the state government does not even have any guidelines with which to help those who might wish to dispose of items in a safe manner.