E-Waste Management and Disposal Project January 2012
Electronic waste popularly known as e-waste comprises- waste electronic/electrical goods that are not fit for their original intended use or have reached their end of life. This may include items such as computers, monitors, CDs, printers, scanners, copiers, calculators, fax machines, battery cells, cellular phones, transceivers, TVs, medical apparatus and electronic components besides white goods such as refrigerators and air-conditioners. E-waste contains valuable materials such as copper, silver, gold and platinum which could be processed for their recovery, as well as the harmful materials that pose a real danger to human health if electronic products are not properly processed prior to disposal. Electronic products like computers and cell phones contain a lot of different toxins. For example, cathode ray tubes (CRTs) of computer monitors contain heavy metals such as lead, barium and cadmium, which can be very harmful to health if they enter the water system. These materials can cause damage to the human nervous and respiratory systems. Flame-retardant plastics used in electronic casings release particles that can damage the human endocrine functions. These are the hazards that can happen when unprocessed e-waste is put directly in the landfill.
Considering all the future threats to the coming generations and the environment Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School decided to be the pioneer in creating awareness for E-waste. The e-waste management project "E-hsas" was implemented successfully by the computer department of the school under the able guidance and encouragement of the Education Director and Principal Mrs. Revathi Srinivasan. During the first phase 350 kilograms e-waste was collected and disposed off.
Under this project awareness was created amongst the children and the staff regarding the following things:
- What is e-waste?
- How is it generated?
- What are the toxic contents of e-waste?
- What is the traditional method of recycling this material?
- The hazards of recycling it in unsafe traditional manner.
- What is the proper way to recycle it?
The project was undertaken in a step by step manner and met with a great response from students as well as the staff.
After creating the awareness, collection of e-waste was done over a period of time. Once it was collected, it was handed over to an organization which specializes in e-waste management and disposal where it undergoes a dry process, as per the norms set by the government. Following the norms helps to keep the environment clean of all the hazardous effects of the traditional processing like acid treatment or burning.
Hazardous substances recovered during the process of recycling of e-waste are then disposed off through the Common Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage & Disposal Facility, commonly known as CHWTSDF, authorized by the Pollution Control Board in the prescribed manner.