New Delhi, Aug 29: The national capital region (NCR) is set become the world’s dumping capital for e-waste as it would generate an estimated 50,000 tonnes of this per annum by 2015, a study by an industry chamber said Thursday.
At present, Delhi generates around 30,000 tonnes of e-waste per annum, said the “E-waste in India by 2015″ study conducted by Assocham.
Over 1.5 lakh workers are employed in the city’s various organised and unorganised recycling units.
“As many as 8,500 mobile handsets, 5,500 TV sets and 3,000 personal computers are dismantled in the city every day for reuse of their component parts and materials,” said Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat.
“While the list is growing, so is the quantity, as these products are getting more affordable and more and more people are using them. Increasing usage also leads to more of them coming up for disposal, thus increasing the rate of obsolescence and replacement,” he added.
The study said the recyclers working in the NCR region are poorly-protected in an environment where e-waste from electronic devices are burned in the open, which releases lead and mercury toxins into the air.
According to the study, Delhi gets around 85 percent of the e-waste from the developed world.
“Mumbai and Chennai are the top importers of junk computers and electronic waste in India but Delhi has emerged as the main hub of e-waste recycling in India, and perhaps the world,” said the study.
As per the estimates, around 45,000 children in the age group of 10 to 14 are engaged in various e-waste activities in Delhi’s recycling units, said the study, advocating for an effective legislation to curb the menace.
B.K. Rao, chairman of Assocham’s health committee, said domestic e-waste like computers, mobiles and refrigerators contain over 1,000 toxic materials.
“Recyclers may suffer from liver, kidney and neurological disorders,” he said.