E-waste Management: IIT Bombay going green

E-waste Management: IIT Bombay going green

~Gyalpo, Shalini

IIT Bombay being a technology institute procures and disposes a huge amount of electronic items every year. The computer desktops and allied accessories, which form a major chunk, & other electronic wastes such as discarded CD-ROMs, printer cartages and so on, are being disposed-off amounting upto 1000 tons or more annually.

These electronic wastes or commonly known as e-wastes, primarily generate from the Computer Centre, the Administration section, and other Departments. The electronic equipments used in the departmental labs also add to the e-waste volumes disposed. To add on, the frequent hardware up-gradations in the market propel the departments to phase-off the older, yet in working conditions, for the latest hardware. The obsolete ones are then either accommodated in some low profile vacancies or are sold to IITB’s staff members. However, the cascading up-gradation effect, ultimately leads the obsolete products to the disposal in the form of e-waste.    

With the growing concern about the hazards of e-Wastes, The Earth Club has taken up the task of identifying a safe disposal channel and put-in place a disposal mechanism, so as to ensure an environmentally friendly and safe exit of the harmful e-wastes from the campus.

As of now IIT Bombay doesn’t have any policy regulations for the disposal of e-waste as such. All kinds of wastes, irrespective of its salvage value or impact on environment are sold or written off through the same channel of the Central Stores, which is finally tendered to some traditional scrap vendors, with no credibility and expertise of handling e-wastes.

Therefore, the club is working towards setting up a safe disposal mechanism, which will ensure the involvement of only the certified e-waste recyclers, with prerequisite infrastructure for the safe electronic disposal.

In this regards, a new E-waste policy report has already been framed by the club, in consultation with the institute authorities like the Computer Centre, Estate Office, Departments, Hostel Control Unit, and Central Stores. The Electronic-waste policy drafted by The Earth Club, IITB members, has already been submitted to the Director’s office, and expected to be passed by the month end; following which, a pilot project will be carried out to study the operational feasibility and economic viability of the E-waste disposal process by the Club.

September 27, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . e-waste management, environment, IIT Bombay, Project, Sustainibility. 6 comments.