Survey reveals that most Bengaluru residents dump e-waste along with municipal solid waste

One could be forgiven to think that the inhabitants of the city that for years has been called the Silicon Valley of India would be sensitized enough regarding electronic devices and their safe disposal once they are past their utility.


However, a recent survey by the Centre for Sustainable Development, for its Environment Report Card busts this naïve hypothesis. The survey was conducted in over 1800 households across all eight zones of Bengaluru and it found that 75% of the residents throw away the e-waste generated in their homes along with the municipal solid waste (MSW). Very few households recycle or sell their e-waste.This is despite the fact that the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has set up collection centers for the disposal of e-waste and has issued licenses to refurbishers, recyclers, and dismantlers of e-waste. In addition, several Producer Responsibility Organizations (PRO) are also working to safely recycle e-waste. However, turns out, most people rely on the informal sector to dispose of their e-waste.

Shobha Raghavan, COO of Saahas Zero Waste explained that the reason for this is that most of the e-waste collection centers are located at a certain distance from households. In contrast, in the informal sector, the collector comes to the doorstep and even pays the consumer for their e-waste, making it preferable and convenient.

The solution for this, she stated, is that e-waste collection points closer to households and societies. A system for vehicles to pick up e-waste at regular intervals can be arranged by the Urban local bodies (ULB), with a price list for each item. This will ensure that consumers have an incentive to dispose of their e-waste through a formal chain.