Mumbai, Sep 22: The city has no system to manage e-waste, which inevitably finds its way to dumping grounds, where ragpickers handle it to remove metals like gold, copper and aluminium.
The extractions are carried out in crude and unrefined conditions, according to Anjali Parasnis, of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a Delhi-based NGO.
Currently two cities in the country -- Delhi and Bangalore -- have waste management systems in place, but their efficiency need to be studied, according to a report released by TERI earlier this month.
Huge quantities of Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) are generated due to the obsolence rate of computers. One estimate says that the total number of obsolete computers originating from government offices, business houses, industries and households in India is 20 lakh a year.
Generally, a personal computer (PC) goes obsolete in two years. In addition, manufacturers and assemblers produce an estimated 1,200 tons of electronic scrap a year to build new machines.
Consumers would rather buy a new computer than upgrade old ones due to changing technology and attractive offers from manufacturers.
Due to the lack of legislation on e-waste, it mostly ends up in landfills or water bodies or is partly recycled in unhygienic conditions. Foreign countries also export huge amounts of e-waste in the form of reusable components.