'Waste generation is my right but collection & disposal is a responsibility of others. I just throw the non-value items on the streets and outside the homes of my neighbors but the waste like newspapers, plastic items, fabrics, metals, furniture, e-waste etc. which can fetch value, I store in my house & work place and sale to scrap merchants at the best prices.
I do not care for the environment but like to fetch the best value in terms of money are my major criteria while discarding. I do not understand hazards from waste and its impacts on environment and health. I do not know what scrap merchants or Kabadies does with my waste and how he handles after buying from me.'
The above is the outcome of the discussion we had with many of the waste generators (including young members of the society) in our country.
Expecting value is a fundamental right but instead of throwing on streets depositing in the respective Collection Bins is also a fundamental responsibility. To implement change, Ecoreco has started installing Eco-Bins at the requests of educational institutions, spiritual places, clubs, societies, commercial complexes, retail stores and other places at a nominal investment for collection of small items of e-waste to motivate generators to give least value items like chargers, batteries, mice, keyboard, remote controls etc. and feel proud to have contributed for the better environment to the extent an individual is comfortable. We believe that this tiny step of today will change the perception gradually and will divert the attention of the generators towards environmental aspects rather than financial aspects.
It may not be out of place to mention that un-environment friendly treatment of e-waste leads to lots of health hazards and productivity. Not only Kabadies but the entire population gets impacted with the polluted air, water and soil. It is equally important to share a few facts that informal sector spends almost 40% of their income only on medical expenses and even than the life span is generally not beyond 60 years, children does not go for formal education at all and ladies are the worst sufferers in the entire process.
We at Ecoreco strongly believe that there is strong need of skilled workforce to shoulder the responsibility of collecting and dismantling of e-waste so deposited in these collection bins and collection centers and transport to the authorised e-waste recycling facilities. At the same time, we also believe that none other than the existing informal actors are the best suited to shoulder the responsibility subject to required skill development as per the norms of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and continue their business in association with the formal recyclers in the country.
Ecoreco Enviro Education Pvt Ltd (a subsidiary of Eco Recycling Ltd) and the only partner of NSDC in this segment have shouldered a responsibility to train 300,000 persons over a period of 10 years through a large number of Training Centers gradually getting opened across nation. We will be more than happy to get associated with corporates who wishes to undertake this activity as CSR Project and get extended skill sets required to informal sector before continuing in this polluting activity.
It may happen that with the stricter implementation of the E-waste Management Rules, 2016 the informal sector may gradually descend because of their polluting activities and hence suggest them to kindly get skilled and join the formal chain of collection and dismantling to continue earning with greater respect and healthier lives.
We are also of the strong view that the generators should shoulder just two responsibilities one, deposit waste in the respective collection Bins and secondly sale all the waste to formal sector for the better environment, health, reputation, productivity and perception for the nation. We do understand that there may be a tiny difference in terms of financial gains but indirect gains like better health etc. will be substantial.
It is also evident that whenever we visit to some other countries we get fascinated to their systems and cleanliness but we ignore that all these comes at a cost, while in our country we, as general public, do not want to spend money on such an important requirement and keep blaming governments for not meeting our expectation which is really an outcome of our inaction of depositing waste in the respective bins or selling to the unskilled workers.
In the light of the above, I personally suggest that we pledge a commitment to do our part of responsibility of depositing e-waste in the designated Eco-Bins or handover to the authorised e-waste collectors / dismantlers / recyclers. As a matter of action point, you may sponsor Eco-Bins and / or a Kabadi for skill development out of your personal funds or from CSR and see a change what we want see in this nation also.