e-Waste Piles Up in Pearl City

IT companies generate 4,000 metric tonnes of electronic waste annually which is disposed in the city’s backyard

HYDERABAD: The e-waste or electronic waste discarded by IT companies is piling up in the backyard of the Pearl City posing health hazard to the denizens. The lengthy process involved in identifying e-waste and getting sanction for disposal is time consuming which denies the opportunity to recycle the equipment.

According to a report released by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), IT companies in Hyderabad are generating approximately 4,000 metric tons of e-waste annually. While 39 per cent of the companies store their e-waste for a period of one year, 15 per cent of the companies dispose them of within 6 months.

Srikanth Srinivasan, NASSCOM regional director for Telangana & Andhra Pradesh,  said that the organisation is working in tandem with Telangana Industrial Infrastructure Corporation for management of e-waste.

“We are also keen on working with the government to have an e-waste disposal policy as part of the overall policy for Industries to ensure a cleaner and greener environment for us” he said. NASSCOM is working with various authorities to smoothen and simplify the processes so that  e-waste can be disposed of in the best possible and responsible manner in the fastest period of time, added Srikanth.

“Over the last few months, we have been reaching out to IT companies as part of a survey on e-waste management. We have requested their participation in the sensitisation sessions or workshop for e-waste management. This is a one of its kind research study to understand e-waste management practices followed by IT companies. Discussions with industry leaders have also helped us to chalk out recommendations, which will be submitted to the Telangana Industrial Infrastructure Corporation,” he said.

“Two important points to note in e-waste disposal by an organisation are internal approval process and debonding process for identification and disposal of e-waste. As the SEZ (Special Economic Zone) companies store their e-waste in the bonded warehouse area, owing to tax benefits availed at the time of purchase, they cannot be disposed of without clearance from the customs authorities, which makes debonding  compulsory. Both these processes combined can take at least 9 months.” he added.

According to Srikanth Srinivasan most of the equipment can be recycled if disposed of in time. But due to deplorable storage conditions, they are further damaged making them unusable.

“In general, nearly 80 per cent of us give away our e-waste to the local kabadiwala for some paltry sum and the way they are disposed of by the scrap dealers is dangerous and could cause serious health problems,” he opined.

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