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Garbage Crisis
Electronic waste from homes turning city into toxic dump
  Electronic waste from homes turning city into toxic dump

While pollution control boards have put in much effort into creating efficient systems for the storage and disposal of hazardous waste generated by industries, there is virtually no method whereby hazardous domestic waste is treated. Batteries, cell-phones, old mixers and expired medicines find their way into city landfills, where chemicals percolate into ground-water and rivers. "Government pollution control boards across the country study and certify the competence of various waste transporters and authorize waste-disposal plants for large industries. But a very large proportion of waste is left out of this loop. This includes hazardous waste generated at the household level," points out Shyam Asolekar, professor at the Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering, IIT-Bombay. Hazardous waste dumped directly into dustbins or gutters includes old computers, mobile phones, kitchen mixers and grinders and batteries for a whole range of electronic devices such as wall clocks, wrist watches and scooters. They end up in landfills. The chemicals that spew out of them are toxic. This is also true for printed circuit boards for electronic durables.


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