Friday, October 5, 2007

B'lore techies launch fight against e-waste

From Mumbai Mirror >

Bangalore: With more and more IT companies setting up shop in Bangalore, e-waste generated is a major concern. Hoping to increase aware­ness about e-waste disposal and its impact on society, a recent initiative by a group of techies seems to have evoked a response from people. Two teams of software engineers from Oracle India recently flagged off a campaign to mobilise people to safe­guard the city from the threat of e-waste.

With more than 40 software pro­fessionals in each team, the group in­tends to impart knowledge about the ill-effects of e-waste and scientific methods of disposing it.

Hardik Shah, a software engineer and the group leader said, "We are importing electronic products from all over the world but do not have a clear policy for disposal. We use com­puters, batteries and other e-stuff im­ported from Japan, Korea and China. We found that proper segregation and clear disposal policy could be the right thing."

Wilma Rodrigues, an e-waste awareness activist said, "In Bangalore, with more than 1,200 software and BPO companies, we get about 8,000 tonnes of e-waste per annum. With the recycling technology we have, it is impossible to recycle the entire heap of e-waste and the prob­lem will only increase. The best way is to educate people about methods to dispose e-waste, like segregation."

Vinuta Narayan, a software engi­neer said, "Just about everyone uses CDs and other electronic equipment today but none of us know any dis­posing methods. Besides, e-waste from software firms and residences, other toxic waste such as plastic and bio-medical waste are also posing problems. A company with 1,000 staff produces around 5,000 plastic or paper cups and around 500 kg of tissue papers a day in the city.

The techies' groups in association with e-waste recycling units have set up collecting points at malls and other commercial establishments in the city to collect e-waste and plas­tic. The techies also enact a street play, detailing the impact of e-waste on human society, at select spots around the city.

As an alternative to plastic bags, the group is advocating the use of jute bags and gunny bags for grocery shopping and other commercial ac­tivities.

"People are hesitant to use gunny or cloth bags for many reasons. But they should think about the future of the city and use them" added Hardik Shah.

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