India is home to a mammoth magnitude of e-waste arising mainly from the abandoned, obsolete or broken electrical or electronic devices. Thanks to India’s fast increasing load of e-wasteoriginating from household consumption, enterprises and imports. All these put together,India’s E-waste is expected to grow to 20 million MT by 2020 from 3.2 million MT in 2015 consisting of monetary value of recoveries from e-waste to the tune of USD 4 billion (INR 25,000 crore) and expected to touch to 20 million MT by 2020.
This issue of E-waste has triggered a need for a sound e-waste management in the country. More than the generation of e-waste, the most serious problem is its collection, handling and processing. Mostly resorted to conventional modes of collection by Kabadies or scrap collectors or rag pickers; because the formal sector is not equipped enough to handle such a gigantic problem endangering ecology.
Noticing this grievous social & environmental problem associated withe-waste, India’s only listed corporatein the segment has come forward with an intention to find solutions to the increasing problem of e-waste. Believing the need to have a strong bridge for communities at large, which are the key source of e-waste generation and the Kabadieswho are the collectors of e-waste from communities, Eco Recycling Limited – India’s first authorised & registered e-waste Management Company – has come up with a unique programme that will help communities dispose e-waste in an organized manner. The bridge will further provide answers to uplift the lives of informal actors, unfortunately the most neglected sector.
A Social Drive called as ‘E-waste Mukt Bharat: Swachh Bharat’, hopes to contribute to the Prime Minister’s Mission of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. Ecoreco envisage setting up 100,000 “Eco-Bins”
across India in educational & spiritual places to facilitate individual and other small e-waste generators to ‘Deposit e-waste for Disposal’.
with ease, effective & economic way of provide robust ‘E-Waste Collection Centres’to the masses, so that every item of E-waste generated, be it a chip board, mobile handset or a mobile battery, can be thrown in allocated areas at various destinations.
The programme was launched on the October 02, 2015 on the auspicious day of Gandhi Jayanti, who dreamt of ‘Clean India’ in his lifetime.
Mr. B. K. Soni, Chairman and Managing Director of Eco Recycling Limited and a visionary behind this ambitious programme said, “Acknowledging the gravity of the issue, we have opened the corridors for E-waste collection, as a social responsibility. We want more and more people to use our social initiative to free India from E-waste.” We are receiving overwhelming response across nation and hope to achieve our targets on time.
Portraying the message of ‘E-waste Mukt Bharat: Swachh Bharat’, the programme is an appeal to people to deposit their e-waste items into these bins installed at those places where otherwise also most of the family members visit either daily or on regular intervals. Thus, people visiting Mandir, Masjid, Churches, Gurudwaras & other holy places or students going to Schools, Colleges & other educational places can carry small items of e-waste with them and deposit in the bins installed at such places. E-waste so deposited in these bins will be collected by Ecoreco Take Back Point (collection centres) and sent to Eco Recycling Ltd for scientific recycling. The value recovered from recycling of all such e-waste material will be utilized for training of informal sector to integrate them with the formal sector, so that they can continue to earn and live healthier life before they get uprooted because of the environmental impacts.
Eco Recycling Ltdappeals to the entire corporate sectorto sponsor these bins as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).Creating a massive ‘ready-to-participate’ platform, Eco Recycling Ltd has offered a very unique opportunity to the entire corporate fraternity to contribute in the nationwide drive of e-waste collection and subsequently paving the way for its scientific disposal.
Advocating the need of a larger participation of a corporate community in this drive, Mr. Soni said, “Any corporate entity, which is desirous to join this social movement of E-waste collection can sponsor a bin to be installed at schools, colleges or templesat a minimal sponsorship of Rs 10,000 per bin. From a giant corporate conglomerate to SMEs or MSMEs, every entity can participate in this national movement of building a platform to collect E-waste and make India an e-waste free India. The whole movement will entail into channelizing, collecting and help disposing the e-waste in a timely and scientific manner to finally help the ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission.”
With this social drive, Eco Recycling is aiming to build a strong army of trained personnel to execute the mission of e-waste collection and support the ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission. Eco Recycling Ltd has chalked out a blueprint that will ensure transform the lives of the unorganized scrap vendors, rag pickers; commonly known as ‘Kabadies’.
A community upliftment programme for informal sector: As a next step of this ambitious programme
Kabadies, which is large in number that exists in every small or big town of the country, are in the profession of e-waste and other waste collection. As per one study, the life expectancy of an average Kabadi is around 55 years. Always immune to dreadful diseases like cancer or tuberculosis (TB), Kabadies and their families spend at least 40 to 50 per cent of their monthly earnings on managing health issues. Further, most of them fall below the poverty line, reside in pitiful conditions in slums where basic minimum hygiene is challenged, women are not empowered and their children are deprived of education impacting their personal, social and economic lives severely.
In the best interest of the informal sector, Eco Recycling Ltd has announced a programme called ‘Ecoreco Enviro Education’ to train about 3,00,000 Kabadies within 10 years to equip them with the knowledge of handling e-waste systematically to safeguard their health first and of course environment & ecology simultaneously, in the best interest of others and the nation. The first ever training initiative of Eco Recycling Ltd to train Kabadies will not only transform their lives socially but will also improve their earnings to live better. Ecoreco will help them to be part of organized e-waste collection and processing industry and get better social recognition of their existence. Thereby, monthly earnings of Kabadies will improve, they will be able to extend good education to their children and ladies will have some social life.
Ecoreco proposes to utilise the value of e-waste so collected through these bins for the upliftment of the informal sector and also appeal to corporate sector to kindly consider use of CSR funds for the skill development of these Kabadies.