Do you know as per The Global E-Waste Monitor 2020 indicates that consumers discarded 53.6 million tonnes worth of electronics in 2019 worldwide, up 20% in 5 years. India generated 3.2 million tonnes of e-waste last year, ranking third behind China (10.1 million tonnes) and the United States (6.9 million tonnes).
Following the present growth rate of e-waste, an ASSOCHAM-EY joint report, named ‘Electronic Waste Management in India’ estimated India to generate 5 million tonnes by 2021.
The rising levels of e-waste generation in India have now become a matter of concern in recent years as these wastes mainly comprise of plastic, toxic and chemicals put a serious threat to the environment.
At an organization level, disposing of e-waste has now become both a time consuming and costly affair for the business. Not only do the Indian IT hardware companies have to follow various government regulations to manage e-waste, but also in most Indian cities the industrial waste disposal infrastructure is both inadequate and ill managed.
In this article, Mr. Atul Mahajan, Director, Trendsetters Facilities and Technical Services (TFTS) which is India’s leading manpower and facility management company, shares some important tips for IT hardware companies to manage e-waste efficiently.
Emphasize on Up-gradations
Focus strongly on upgradation instead of replacement of equipment/devices to reduce waste. Many companies pay less attention to the possibilities for up-gradation or re-usability of devices. Before buying a brand-new PC or other devices, try to put a strong effort to check the possibilities of upgrading the hardware or software.
Secondly, when a device stops working, generally not all of its internal components go bad. Those components that are still in working condition actually erode with the course of time after it gets dumped or poorly stored. For example, most of the time non-working and out-dated CPU are just sold to scrap dealers or dumped in some store room. However, if checked it may be found that their CPU cabinets, CPU fans, Cables, Sockets are in good working condition and can be reused with an installation of a new motherboard. Therefore, one can not only recycle but also save money by reusing instead of paying a hefty price on brand new CPUs.
However, the question is how the above steps can be executed? In reality reduction of e-waste and cost saving through up gradation can be achieved within company’s available resourcing or without additional investment. Generally, every company there is a permanent internal IT maintenance guy, this employee can be briefed, motivated and goals can be set for him/her to investigate, research and identify maximum possibilities for up gradation and cost saving on the procurement of electronic equipment.
Do you have a dump of faulty and unused CD, DVD and magnetic tapes? Or are you storing out-dated computer devices that do not suit your organization’s current demand but they can work well otherwise? Then contact some good NGOs either through word of mouth or best through social media and donate the stuff. There might be handicap and blind schools who can use those CDs for making beautiful handicraft items and sell them in the market to support their NGO operation. Or there can be an underprivileged school which can use your out-dated devices to expose kids to the world of computers.
Try to Build a Culture of Care for Organization’s Devices
This is something that most companies ignore, a large quantity of electronic equipment can be saved or can have longer life span if the organization puts efforts to develop a culture of caring office equipment, among employees. This can be achieved by effectively communicating the care intentions with the employees. Like using internal office banners to encourage and remind employees to take care of the office equipment, the company may reward an employee who maintains his/her PC or Laptop with the best care etc.
Use Online Scrap dealers
Today many Start-ups have come up in India with services for selling and recycling e-waste. These companies can offer both better price and convenience of wastage pickup when comparing to conventional unorganized scrap dealers.