Students Launch E-Waste Recycling Drive in Kolkata

Kolkata:In between classes a small group of five girls of Jadavpur University sneak out to collect discarded mobile phone batteries, headphones and computer parts as part of a campaign to control the menace of e-waste.

Rishika Bhowmick and her friends from the arts department of Jadavpur university are on a mission to collect and recycle all e-waste generated from their campus.

“We are collecting e-waste from all departments in our campus and also from individual students and teachers. Everyone is cooperating with us. Now we have collected hundreds of such discarded items,” the comparative literature student told PTI.

Only the engineering faculty at the state-run university has a dedicated bin for e-waste.

“But every department generates such waste. We don’t want the waste to litter around the campus and so we have started this drive to collect and sent it for recycling,” Ms Bhowmick said.

According to a UN report last year, India is the fifth biggest producer of e-waste in the world, discarding 1.7 million tonnes of electronic and electrical equipment.

E-waste is harmful to human health due to the presence of many toxic elements.

Another aspect of the student’s campaign is to raise awareness amongst the new generation.

Using the discarded computer and mobile phone parts, the students decorated a path along the campus recently.

As part of the ‘Microsoft Create to Inspire 2015 Fellowship’ program the students, who have formed Bazinga group, were taught on how to remove the toxic parts from the e-waste so that it is safe to recycle at home.

“We can recycle many items using our creativity at our homes. The rest should be sent to authorised e-waste recycling units,” the students who would soon be starting the e-waste campaign in St Xavier’s College and Presidency University said.