The world we have created today has problems which cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them.ALBERT EINSTEIN

This thought is the compelling truth basing the rising electronic waste disposal problem all over the world. Every day, more than one new models of phones, tablets, laptops etc are released, but very little thought is given to how will we deal and accommodate them with all the old devices.

In the light of this situation, initiating one step forward Harshith Prince, Samudhytha. R, Salka Mary, Parinitha. P and Smriti Tiwari from Earth5R conducted awareness on environmental hazards of e-waste at Bangalore. This community activity was conducted at Richmond Park Bangalore on 14th September 2015.

As a part of the activity,  the team carried with them pamphlets that had details about e-waste. These included points like like what are the impacts of improper disposal and a list of E-Waste disposal centers in all prime locations of Bangalore. Earth5R team approached people of all ages, the youngest being 18 yeas and oldest nearing 70 years,  all around the park.

They interacted with a large group of 15-20 young professionals, who had come for a meeting in the park and were keen on learning about e-waste. The first question Earth5R team asked everyone was about their awareness regarding e-waste and the need for its separate disposal.

By 2017, the global volume of discarded refrigerators, TVs, cellphones, computers, monitors and other electronic waste will weigh almost as much as 200 empire state buildings, a new report predicts.

Most of them knew about e-waste but were completely oblivious about the right way of disposing the waste. The team educated them on how e-waste disposed along with regular waste is either being dumped in landfills or burnt in incinerators, causing tremendous harm to human life and the environment.

The learning made people aware of how dumping of e-waste in landfills leads to leaching of toxic metals into the soil, polluting the soil and underground water. The burning of e-waste in incinerators leads to an increase of particulate matter in the air which in turn puts all animals at a greater risk of cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders.

Awareness is the first step that can lead to a change in mindsets. A lot of people are willing to change but just need a guidance in the right direction. An interesting public behavior observed in such open programs is that for every person that turns a blind eye, two people are eagerly waiting to hear

A forecast, based on data gathered by United Nations organizations, governments, and nongovernment and science organizations in a partnership known as the “Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP) Initiative,” predicts e-waste generation will swell by a third in the next five years, led by the United States and China.

While a few people were aware of the consequences, a good number of people were shocked to learn about the impacts. Most of the people took the contact details of the E-waste Disposal Centers closest to their homes and expressed gratitude toward Earth5R team for educating on e-waste.

-Impact report by Smriti Tiwari, Edited by Vandita Morarka

-Featured image Credit: A very keen listener. Article images Credit: Salka Mary Debbarma