World Environment Day 2020: How to safely dispose of your e-waste in India

Recycling e-waste is an incredibly important issue that we all need to think about. India is a huge market for electronic devices. We regularly buy phones, tablets, laptops and smart TVs. The market size is also increasing day by day due to increase in our per capita income and relative decrease in material prices. This is one of the main reasons for the massive increase in electronic waste (commonly called e-waste) in the country. As we celebrate World Environment Day today, we should also understand how we can safely dispose of e-waste in the country.

According to a survey jointly published by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and NEC, India is in the top five countries in e-waste generation – second only to China, the United States, Japan and Germany. The country generates about 2 million tons of e-waste annually, with about 4,38,085 tons being recycled each year, according to the survey. This suggests that we throw away a lot of e-waste without following proper procedures. So, we should take these steps to dispose of e-waste safely in India.

How can you dispose of e-waste?
There are several non-profit organizations (NGOs) that allow you to handle e-waste disposal responsibly in India. Bangalore-based Sahas is one of the most popular names on that front. It receives more than 10 kilograms of e-waste per person in the city between Monday and Saturday. There are also startups like Namo e-waste that collect e-waste dumps from various companies including Acer, Flipkart and Samsung and recycle them into different products. Also, there are various e-waste recyclers across the country that you can find through a search engine based on your location details. Companies like Apple and Shaomi also offer free recycling of their devices.

Is it right to throw e-waste in the regular dustbin?
Your e-waste should not be thrown in the dustbin along with your daily garbage. Your e-waste may contain various elements that can harm the environment. Therefore, it is advisable not to throw e-waste in the dustbin. Alternatively, you should look for an authorized e-waste recycler to safely dispose of your electronic waste, including computer peripherals, dated mobile phones, printed circuit boards, dry cells and lithium batteries.

Sort before e-waste removal
It is important to sort out e-waste before going out for safe disposal. Not all components of your e-waste are of the same nature. They have different levels of toxicity and although some of them are recyclable, they may contain some ingredients that cannot be recycled. Also, devices such as batteries, monitors, tube lights and bulbs are considered hazardous. You should also look into selling or distributing e-waste that may be useful to other people. That waste includes old phones and laptops.

Which is the best selling Vivo smartphone in India? Why isn’t Vivo making premium phones? We interviewed Nipun Maria, Director of Brand Strategy at Vivo and talked about the company’s strategy in India. We discussed this in Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download episodes, or press the play button below.

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