Electronic waste to touch 4.7 lakh tonnes by 2011

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New Delhi, Dec 13 (UNI) Electronic waste or e-waste generated in the country is expected to reach 4.7 lakh metric tonnes(MT) from present 3.3 lakh metric tonnes over the next four years, a study said.

The study on the e-waste assessment in the country revealed by MAIT, the apex body representing country's IT hardware, training and R&D services sector and GTZ, the German Technical Cooperation agency, said a total of 3.3 lakh tonnes of e-waste is generated every year in the country, while fifty thousand metric tonnes is illegally imported into the country.

However, only 19,000 MT of this waste is recycled due to high refurbishing and reuse of electronic products in the country and also because of poor recycling infrastructure, the MAIT-GTZ e-waste assessment study further said.

''Significant growth in consumption of electronic items in the last few years, accompanied by a very high rate of obsolescence of these products is leading to generation of electronic waste in the country,'' GTZ Director J Bischoff said, adding that dumping from the developed countries has further aggravated the problem.

The study which focused on the waste of computers, televisions and mobile sets is s survey of 200 corporate houses and close to four hundred households.

Elaborating on the measures to manage e-waste in an environmentally conducive manner, MAIT Director Vinnie Mehta said,''As the first principle of recycling is reuse, it is necessary that the electronics industry encourages the reuse of outdated electronics items by suitably refurbishing them and by providing theme necessary support.'' Further, institutional users must put up in place a policy on e-waste management and disposal of obsolete electronic equipments, Dr Mehta said.

''Government should develop an inclusive model by explicitly identifying and defining the roles of each stakeholder, including the vendors, users, recyclers and the regulator for environmentally-friendly recycling,'' he said, adding that the informal recyclers should also be included in this model and an awareness campaign put in place to ensure right information on e-waste reaches out to all stakeholders in a timely manner.

UNI

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