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The green E-warrior

Recycling of E-Waste needs awareness in Goa for a greener future, For now, Ashley Delaney from Saligao seems the only ray of hope

Story: Kishore Amati/The Goan | 15th December 2012, 09:55 Hrs

A few years ago, Ashley Delaney’s concernfor the environment made him research about E-waste management in India. Acompany by the name Attero with its headquarters in Rourkey, Uttarakhand seemedthe only one in India with which Ashley partnered immediately. He then openedan authorised E-Waste collection and marketing centre called Group Ten Plus andregistered it with the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB). Ashley feelsthe awareness in Goa pertaining to the recycling of E-Waste is less. He says,“Not many people understand the concept of recycling and not reusing. Recyclingmeans returning the product to its nascent stage so that it can beremanufactured. The common mentality is that whenever people give theirproducts for recycling, they expect to get paid for it. If they don’t get thedesired amount in return, they sell it to the local scrap dealer or just disposeit off. People don’t realise that they are contributing to waste.

The problem is that the people employed atthe scrapyards won’t dispose this waste as per the specified norms and methodsbecause the cost involved is too much. I am trying to get people to recycle andnot re-use. Thankfully in May 2012, the government came up with stringent normsmaking it mandatory for the manufacturer as well as the end user of electronicproducts to give E-waste for recycling. In other countries, the manufacturertakes it away and they recycle it at their own cost. In India, we don’t bother.A section of the law also states that the manufacturers of electronic devicesneed to ensure that at the end of the life cycle of the product, they have totake it back or at least publicise some method of telling people that they haveto give it for recycling. But no one is following it. A radical change needs tobe brought about in the mind set of people.”

 Apart from convincing individuals aboutE-waste management, Ashley has been struggling to spread awareness across twosectors –the formal sector comprising of banks, organisations and educationalinstitutions, etc; and  the informalsector such as the scrap yard dealers and computer dealers. He says, “Myprimary focus has been the formal sector because those are the ones that areobligated to follow the law.” To build the collection centre and to get alicence, Ashley has to pay some damages. He says, “I had to use vitrified tilesto prevent leakage as one cannot have permeable flooring. The devices can’t bekept in the open so I had to cover the place. Till now I have spent nearly twolakhs. I’m just like a glorified Kabadiwala”.

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