BHUBANESWAR:Odisha produces seven to eight thousand tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) annually of which 95 per cent is recycled in a crude form by unprofessional methods. While the Government has authorised 11 e-waste collection centres, there are no registered recycling plants functioning in the State, senior Scientist of Odisha State Pollution Control Board DK Behera said here on Wednesday.
Addressing a seminar on e-waste management and entrepreneurship development, Behera said the State Government is mulling the option of outsourcing assessment of the quantity of e-waste generated and disposed under hazardous conditions in each district.
Speaking on the occasion, associate director of Toxic Links Satish Sinha said there is an enormous business opportunity involved in metal extraction through recycling of e-waste. “The carbon footprints in extraction of metals like copper, gold, silver and palladium from e-waste is much lower than that of mining these metals from the ores,” he said.
Raising concern over dumping of e-waste into rivers and nullahs, Sinha said lab testing of soil and water samples close to the dumping yards in many cities reveals high contamination with heavy metals and other impurities.
Even the drinking water at these locations contains high amount of toxic metals, he stated.
The Central Pollution Control Board has authorised 170 units in the country to handle e-waste but there is no benchmark on the manner in which these units function.
“Extended producer’s responsibility (EPR) is a vital norm specified in the E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 which needs strict enforcement. Under this norm, the producers of electrical and electronic equipment have the responsibility of managing their products after those are discarded by consumers,” added Sinha.
E-waste management is at a very nascent stage in the State, Member Secretary of OSPCB Rajiv Kumar said. “The State Government has made a brief guideline on how to manage and utilise e-waste in a scientific and environmental friendly process,” said the Member Secretary.
Among others, Director (Production) NALCO V Balasubramaniam and Convenor IT panel, CII Odisha BK Sahoo spoke.