Meet BinBag, the Bengaluru startup disposing of your e-waste
- E-waste is a serious problem!
- Bengaluru produces the third highest e-waste in the country.
- e-Waste should be disposed of only via authorised channels.
The IT hub Bangalore has taken a step ahead by mandating segregation of dry and wet waste, but what about e-waste or electronic waste? Do you know that your e-waste or electronic waste shouldn't be disposed of in your dustbin? This includes all those cable wires, USB cords, broken mouse or keyboard, damaged phones and the list is endless.
An electronic product is made up of metals like steel, non-ferrous metals like silver, gold and even plastic. When disposed of without following the right procedure, which would mean either burning or dumping the residue after taking off the precious metals and useful parts, leads to releasing toxins in air, soil, contamination of water) and so on.
Borgohain moved from Assam to Gujarat after completion of higher secondary school. He completed his graduation and MBA in Gujarat. "It’s not easy (leaving a corporate job), especially the first step when you are taking the leap of faith and you know there won't be a monthly income," he tells us.
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The e-waste problem is what touched him. He soon realised the real problem is within the waste chain. He started bouncing off ideas and looking for mentorship, and that's when his association with IIM-B started. The startup was incubated there and also got his initial funding. BinBag works with schools, communities, apartment complexes and so on to collect e-waste. It also indulges in various awareness activities, explaining people and children how important it is to dispose of e-waste safety.
Its recycler partners include those who have been authorised by pollution control board, and follow the right procedure to recycle e-waste. Borgohain says, "The informal sector aka kabadiwalas deserve the due credit for helping keep the city clean. But e-waste is different from plastic or paper and leads to poisoning of water and soil, eventually affecting human and animal health. E-waste needs a formal channel."
Most users don't know the effects of disposing e-waste in the wrong manner. He points out companies can help by opening centres wherein their damaged products can be disposed of. BinBag now plans to address the bigger problem to manage municipal solid waste at BBMP's collection centre. It is currently managing two wards and plans to extend this to 4-5 wards.
India’s produces nearly 18.5 Lakhs MT of electronic waste every year, according to Assocham study, and it is expected to increase to 30 lakh metric tonnes (MT) per year by 2018. Bangalore stands third among the Indian cities by producing over 50,000 tonnes of e-waste. These are new-age problems, that could turn grave in the future, with the immediate need to be handled meticulously.