To tackle the growing peril of electronic waste (e-waste) in the state and disposing it of scientifically, Baroda IT Association (BITA) organised a three-day IT exhibition in Vadodara from February 17-19. The event was held in collaboration with EcoSarjan, an Ahmedabad-based non-government organisation (NGO).

“We collected nearly three tonnes of e-waste in first two days itself, which increased to four by the end of the third day,” said Dipan Shah, director – EcoSarjan.

“This waste has already reached Ecoli Waste Management Pvt Ltd where it will be disposed as per Gujarat Pollution Control Norms,” he added. The e-waste includes CPUs, cellphones, landline devices, modems, old typewriters, USB drives, tube lights and many more such electronic appliances now out of use.

Shah, and his partner organisation BITA, came up with an innovative idea to ensure more participation in the programme.

“We had promised cash vouchers to those who deposited their e-waste with the centre. These vouchers could be redeemed at the exhibition to buy a new electronic product,” said Shah.

“Almost Rs1.4 lakh were given in vouchers in exchange of e-waste. The amounts decided were based on type and condition of e-waste brought in,” he added.

Shah, post this e-waste drive, has started receiving an increased number of calls from corporate houses, retailers and individuals who want their out-of-use electronics disposed. As per his estimates, this response will help collect three times the e-waste collected during the exhibition.

“We will organise one-day camps every week evaluate e-waste collected. This waste will be sorted and sent to the disposal plant. The exercise will continue till the time we have a permanent collection centre in Vadodara,” informed Shah.

“Similar camps are being planned for Ahmedabad as well,” he added. GPCB and Vadodara Municipal Sewa Sadan (VMSS) support this drive.

Shah, to boost his endeavour, has now joined Federation of IT Associations of Gujarat (FITA) of which BITA is also a part.

Shah said, “Our work is to replicate collection centre at all IT exhibitions in Gujarat. We will also extend productive life of computer systems, wherein we collect and refurbish them and deliver the same for free to those who require them.”

The Society for Environment Protection (SEP) through its EcoSarjan project has been working on the issue of E-waste since 2009. It has evolved a comprehensive plan for E-waste awareness and management campaign for Gujarat.

Those interested in depositing their E-waste with EcoSarjan can contact them at 919998478741 or send an email to ewaste@ecosarjan.net regarding the same.