The International Financial Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, on Friday selected two agencies for handling, processing and disposing of electronic waste(e-waste) generated in the smart city.
The IFC, which is an adviser to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on e-waste management, has selected Sofies Sustainability Leaders Private Limited and Siddha Development Research and Consultancy Private Limited. These two agencies will manage e-waste from June, BMC sources said.
Both the agencies have long experience of dealing with e-waste world over. The purpose of engaging the experienced firms is to ensure that there is sustainable e-waste management ecosystem in the smart city to avoid proliferation and reckless reuse. The e-waste project will also help set up a mechanism for collection and storage of e-waste for processing and dismantling in future, said a spokesperson of the BMC.
While the actual implementation will kick-start in June, in September, massive awareness campaign will be launched to educate people how to handle the e-waste. The awareness will also focus on the adverse effects of the piling of e-waste. For this, help of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) and other government and non-government organisations will be sought.
The BMC has also decided to bring to its fold the ragpickers, who collect the bulk of e-waste and through whom the waste lead to environmental hazards.
"Bringing an e-waste ecosystem doesn't mean hampering the livelihood of the ragpickers. They will be integrated in the system. We may also go for setting up of an e-waste processing and recycling plant here," said a senior officer of the BMC.
In February, a team from IFC led by e-waste expert Berno Kopacek visited several places in city to evolve a working model for collection and disposal. The IFC has already guided Hyderabad and Ahmedabad on e-waste disposal.
According to official sources, currently disposal of e-waste in informal sector (by scrap dealers) helps recover only 30% of metals from the waste. Recycling in a scientific way can fetch about 90% metal, which can be reused for various purposes. If the e-waste is properly recycled, it can reduce the pressure on environment, said an officer of the BMC.