TO ADDRESS the mounting problem of electronic waste or e-waste, the waste pickers’ cooperative of the city, Swach, has decided to start a special drive for its collection. Called ‘V collect – U donate – Together we recycle’, the project involves setting up mobile waste collection centres at different locations in Aundh and nearby areas on specific dates.
This sort of a system previously existed for flea markets and specialty stores, but had never been used for e-waste collection. These pop-up kiosks will be stationed at prominent locations, making it convenient for residents to drop off not just e-waste but also old clothes, toys, books and household items among others that they wish to discard. This will then be recycled and reused.
“It will allow residents to dispose of unwanted material instantly. We recycle, reuse and repurpose whatever we get. In fact, we want to establish a thrift shop along the model of such shops in western countries,” said Mangal Gaikwad, a waste picker and board member of Swach.
Smita Rajabali, who is looking after this new recycling project, said, “It took some time and research but we have taken the plunge. We all have items that we do not know what to do with, and there is someone out there who can make good use of them. It is the perfect recycling plan if we all give and take as per our needs.”
These mobile waste collection kiosks will be able to reach a larger part of the population. Swapnali Saikar, a local corporator, said, “The collection will be decentralised, so the process will be simpler and there will be an increase in the quantity of collection, I think,” adding that it was a good initiative to reduce the carbon footprint.
With a contribution of approximately three million tonnes of e-waste every year, India is the fifth largest e-waste producing country in the world. Maharashtra ranks first in India. If not disposed through proper channels, this hazardous waste can wreak havoc. Swach is an initiative for collection and proper disposal of e-waste.