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On a clean drive: NGOs install e-waste bins

Source: The Bengal Post, Date: July , 2012

KOLKATA: All the e-waste you generate can now be properly disposed of as city-based social service organisations are setting up ewaste bins at several prominent locations in Kolkata. The city generates 2.5 lakh tonne of e-waste annually. The initiative aims at spreading awareness on the need for proper and safe recycling..NGO Toxics Link, began installing ewaste bins from June 5 at Paryavaran Bhavan, the headquarters of the state pollution control board in Salt Lake and at the Indian Museum.

“The aim behind putting up these bins is to create awareness among the common public regarding e-waste and to also give them an opportunity to dispose of it in a responsible manner. The locations selected are primarily public locations where there would be high visibility,” said Priti Mahesh, senior programme coordinator, Toxics Link.

E-waste bins have also been installed at the National Library, Birla Science and Technology Museum, the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management on College Street, the State Bank of India head office on Strand Road and CESC’s Victoria House headquarters. The NGO also plans to install e-waste bins at all Metro stations in the future. Mahesh said: “The city, being the eastern hub, also receives waste from neighbouring states. Since there has been little work on e-waste in the city in terms of awareness as well as setting up of a clean channel, environmental concerns due to informal recycling are high. So, we plan to create some action in the city.”

According to Mahesh, Toxics Link has tied up with Gurgaon-based recycling company Earthsense Pvt. Ltd which has an office in Kolkata to collect and recycle the waste collected from e-waste bins. Besides setting up bins at prominent locations across the city, Toxics Link is also conducting awareness programmes. One of the programmes, according to Mahesh, would be for Calcutta University-affiliated colleges where other university representatives would also be present.

“Public campaigns have already been held targeting large electronics users such as banks and hospitals. We have also done some e-waste campaigns in schools in Kolkata, Asansol, Durgapur and Darjeeling,” said Mahesh.

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