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NDMC struggles to raise awareness about e-waste

The Indian Express, New Delhi, 4th June, 2013

New Delhi Municipal Council's ambitious electronic waste collection project is facing problems as residents of the VIP zone have turned a deaf ear to the pleas of agency to dispose of e-waste in bins marked for it.

According to a senior official at the council, the agency wrote to residents' welfare associations (RWAs) many a time asking them to dispose of electronic waste properly. The council has also taken on board a private company, who sends workers door-to-door to collect e-waste. However, the agency did not get the desired response from the RWAs.

"We have been writing to RWAs to dispose of e-waste with the company that has been given task to collect it. We even offered to put e-waste bins in the localities, but our requests did not get any response from RWAs. We are getting e-waste only from NDMC hospitals. We collected about seven tonnes of e-waste till August 2012," the official said.

The official said there has been a collection of 30 tonnes of e-waste from NDMC schools, hospitals and offices. "People must understand that e-waste produces toxic materials that could lead to cancer, affect nervous system and lead to infertility. Dumping it accurately will help us keep the environment safe," the official said.

Following the guidelines of Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi government, the New Delhi Municipal Council started collecting electronic waste in 2010.

Started on experiment basis, the council initially collected e-waste like computers, mouse, mobile phones, glass and other metal products from its schools and offices. "We are yet to move into residential areas. Although, we have chalked out a plan to reach RWAs," another senior official said.

The council also plans to place these e-bins in community centres.