E-waste accumulation in North East posing health hazards: Experts

Speakers at the workshop raised awareness about the harmful consequences of improper e-waste disposal and the benefits of recycling

Accumulation of e-waste or electronic waste damages the environment by releasing greenhouse gases, harming wildlife and their habitats, and negatively affecting human health.
E-waste, which refers to old electrical and electronic equipment that have reached the end of their life, contains numerous toxins, which if not disposed of in an appropriate manner, can cause environmental pollution and health hazards.
Speakers at a workshop on 'E-Waste Management' raised awareness about the harmful consequences of improper e-waste disposal and the benefits of recycling and urge people to send e-waste for formal recycling.
The workshop was organised by the Department of Computer Science and Electronics, University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM), in the 9th Mile area of Khanapara recently.
The workshop was conducted by Syed Miraz Ahmed and Abdul Hasib from Terra Matter Initiative Private Limited, a company that is developing a recycling channel for e-waste in North East India and aims to contribute to the global rate of recycling e-waste formally.
"E-waste is a growing problem and India is now officially the world's third-biggest e-waste generator, producing over 3.23 million metric tonnes of e-waste per year, behind the US and China," said an expert.
Making his presentation, Ahmed pointed out that there is no e-waste recycler in the North East region of India.
A glimpse from the workshop
Image: A glimpse from the workshop
"E-waste is a growing problem and India is now officially the world's third-biggest e-waste generator, producing over 3.23 million metric tonnes of e-waste per year, behind the US and China," he said.
India's e-waste production has risen almost 2.5 times to 3.23 million metric tonnes in six years in 2019, according to the Global E-Waste Monitor Report 2020. 95 per cent of E-Waste still continues to be handled by the informal sector," Ahmed said.
Addressing the students, Abdul Hasib stated that e-waste damages the environment by releasing greenhouse gases, harming wildlife and their habitats, and negatively affecting human health.
"In 2019, an estimated 88.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents were released into the atmosphere from the refrigerator and air conditioner e-waste alone. This contributed roughly 0.3 percent of global greenhouse emissions for 2019," Hasib said.
The experts also highlighted the central government's guidelines for implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) whereby producers are required to have arrangements with authorised dismantlers/ recyclers either individually or collectively.



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