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Sayantan Ghosh, Intern
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Race against Waste
As the e-waste burden grows in urban areas, city corporations and NGOs are ill equipped to handle the neccessary recycling of this often harardous waste. Enter, the professionals.

Kolkata - As we progress towards achieving technological greatness, humans are posing a threat to the environment in a new and deadly way. E-waste. It is not something that is completely avoidable – given the lifecycle of today’s electronics and the demand for the latest and greatest gadgets – which stay that way for a month at most.

The term "e-waste" is an abbreviation of "electronic waste". A key part of the definition is the word "waste" and what it logically implies – that the item has no further use and is rejected as useless or excess to the owner in its current condition. India generates close to 1.2 million tonnes or 1 kg per person e-waste per year. The figure is estimated to grow to 3 million tonnes of e-waste generated per year within the next decade. Poor literacy leaves the general public without a basic idea about e-waste management. They are unaware of the hazards that e-waste pose towards their health. The people dealing in unorganised waste management use unscientific methods to segregate and dismantle the waste, unaware of the biological hazards involved due to the mishandling of e-waste.

In comes the slickly named Hulladek, an e-waste management organisation, who have now started a campaign called ‘Race against Waste’ which has been set in motion with the schools across the city. This annual campaign would concentrate on seminars conducted in schools. Hulladek Recycling also has a vision to make the city a litter- free city.

Kicking off at The Assembly of God Church School (AGCS) Park Street, Mr. Nandan Mall from Hulladek Recycling, Mrs. Lata Bhatia from Green Legion and Mr. Ankit Agarwal from Ad my Bin were the speakers for the event, who covered various topics like E-Waste Management theories and its implementations, composting, and waste segregation. Ms. Shekhar, Vice Principal, AGCS Park Street Ms. Rupa Pandit, teacher in charge and the members of All India Women’s Conference were felicitated for their contribution towards this event.

The Campaign is being carried forward by visiting other schools, too. This reporter witnessed a similar programme The Heritage School. The seminars in the schools were mainly conducted by Mr. Nandan Mall, Director and Mr. Mayank Khanna, Sr. Marketing executive at Hulladek, and were really interesting and very interactive. The amount of research and ground work carried on by them is admirable, and should help students choose green habits, consuming less and recycling more.

Hulladek has taken up the responsibility of collecting e-waste from the schools they have visited and recycle the waste themselves – different from other operators who are mere middlemen. They target to cover 50 schools and a total e-waste collection and recycling of 5 tons of e-waste.

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