June 26, 2007

Bangalore Becoming e-waste Hub?

Bangalore, which not so long ago qualified as the Information Technology (IT) hub of the country, is reportedly now facing a serious problem -- that of increasing electronic waste (e-waste) produced by the city.

Incidentally, the garden city houses nearly 1,700 IT companies that generate about 8,000 tons of e-waste every year. Contributing majorly to this e-waste are PCs, refrigerators, televisions, and mobiles that contain over 1,000 different toxic materials.

Though, looking at e-waste from a broader perspective, it seems that an array of electronics are regularly outliving their utility which includes PCs, CPUs, hard disc drives, PC peripherals, servers, motherboards, printers, fax machines, copiers, compact discs, digital video discs, tapes, cartridges, telecom equipment, lithium batteries, the works.

Experts are of the view that these products, if not recycled properly, would gain hazardous proportions, at times posing severe risk to human health and longevity.

Informed sources reveal that chemicals such as Beryllium found in motherboards, and Cadmium in chip resistors/semiconductors can cause Cancer. Besides, Chromium in floppy disks, batteries, and monitors; and Mercury in alkaline batteries/fluorescent lamps can also cause serious health problems.

Meanwhile, Bangalore-based NGO, EWA (e-waste agency), which is supported by the Indo-German Swiss e-waste initiative, has proposed to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) the need for legislation on e-waste and e-waste recycling. The ministry has yet to address the matter...

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