Jamshedpur, Jan. 14: E-waste (electronic waste materials) is becoming one of the most serious environmental concerns.
Worldwide e-waste was estimated to be in the tune of 41.8 million tons in 2014, a rise of 2 million tons from 2013. India, with a rising need for upgrading electronic products, has attained the fifth position globally in terms of e-waste generation, said Anthony Halog from University of Queensland.
Addressing the second day of the National Conference on E-waste Management organized by XLRI in collaboration with University of Queensland, Australia, and IIT, Kharagpur, Halog said, e-waste, however, has a potential of being an important source of metals like gold, silver and copper if properly recycled.
A study states that around 300 tons of gold, equal to 11 percent world’s production in 2013, could be extracted from e-waste.
As per ASSOCHAM only 4 percent of e-waste is properly recycled in India and the remaining is going into landfills or dismantled in unhygienic conditions causing environmental and health problems. According to the organizers, global volume of discarded e-waste by 2017 will weigh almost equivalent to 200 Empire State Building, New York.
In all, 30 research papers pertaining to the e-waste subject were submitted in the two-day conference that had eminent speakers namely Anthony Halog, Geography Planning and Environment Management, University of Queensland, Brajesh Kumar Dubey, Environment Engineering Division, IIT Kharagpur, and P Venugopal of XLRI delivering key note address on comprehensive overview of e-waste management issues.
Dr. Brijesh Sivathanu, Symbiosis Centre for Information Technology, said, India ranked third in the world in e-waste generation per annum, he said, adding that the country generated 1.7 million tons of e-waste in 2014.
The volume of e-waste is increasing every day, thus becoming a major environmental concern even as the common man is unaware of his contribution to it, said Sivathanu. As per ASSOCHAM only 4 percent of e-waste is properly recycled in India and the remaining is going into landfills or dismantled in unhygienic conditions causing environmental and health problems, he added.
Issues such as impact of e-waste on environment and human health, e-waste challenge in developed and developing countries, relevant approach to manage e-waste in countries like India were dealt comprehensively in the conference.
Among others, Pingali Venugopal, chairperson of CGMRL, also spoke