Saturday, January 31, 2009

sri lankan story FROM SUNDAY OBSERVER

Getting rid of e-waste

E-waste is an often used term nowadays. The electronic waste generated by mobile phones, computers and other electronic products is expected to create massive environment hazards in the future.

Electronic equipment such as mobile phones and ray tubes of television and computer monitors are said to contain toxic metals and harmful organic chemicals. These include lead, cadmium, mercury and brominated and chlorinated flame-retardants which pose hazards to the environment. When used equipment is discarded into the environment in an unregulated manner, over a period of time, these harmful substances, known as e-waste, can leak to the soil, water and atmosphere and turn harmful to human beings as well as other forms of life on Earth.

If such e-waste is not disposed of in a safe and environmental friendly manner, it could lead to serious effects on the environment through contaminated water and soil. The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) is now in the process of preparing proposals for constructing an e-waste facility together with the necessary legislation to ensure safe and environmentally friendly e-waste disposal and recycling practices.

CEA officials have been directed to submit proposals to construct an e-waste recycling facility to deal with unregulated e-waste disposals.

According to a Greenpeace International report, e-waste in Asia remains largely unregulated and its impact on recycling workers, surrounding communities, water bodies and soils have not been properly studied.

The report also says the annual worldwide generation of e-waste is about 20 to 50 million tonnes. However, the amount of un-recycled e-waste Sri Lanka discards to the environment has not been determined yet.

No comments: