Info-tech

Only 8% of e-waste is recycled in Kolkata: Study

PTI Kolkata | Updated on March 09, 2011

Kolkata and its suburbs annually produce nearly 26,000 tonnes of electronic waste, out of which only eight per cent is recycled, an official study has said.

The study, conducted by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, found that e-waste generation in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) had been estimated to be 25,999 tonnes for 2010, of which 9,290 tonnes is available for recycling and only 2,022 tonnes is actually recycled. The reason for the low rate of recycling, about 8 per cent, is attributed to the absence of authorised e-waste reprocessing units in the State.

More than 90 per cent of the e-waste gets mixed with other forms of waste in the KMA, which includes the city and its suburbs such as Howrah, Hooghly, Salt Lake, Kalyani, Barasat and Uluberia.

According to the study, the unorganised sector has unauthorised reprocessing units, particularly in the suburbs, which follow unhealthy practices while recycling, posing a grave health threat to labourers.

Electronic waste or e-wastes, such as PC monitors, PCBs (printed circuit boards), CDs, motherboards, cables, etc are frequently burnt in the open or processed through crude methods to recover metal and other valuable items, causing environmental pollution.

The scientific management and disposal of e-waste involves high costs, but the renewable value of the e-waste has made illegal backyard recycling an attractive option.

E-wastes can be sold for reprocessing only to units registered with the Central Pollution Control Board.

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Published on March 09, 2011
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