By : Imteyaz Ali

India’s First E-Waste Clinic in Bhopal

Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) collabration with Sarthak Sanstha has launched multiple initiatives in their campaign for a better position in Swachh Survekshan. The Corporation has recently launched an E-waste collection model that is helping clean out the city more effeciently.

The Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has indeed taken the cleanliness initiative of the Prime Minister very seriously. And for the good of its citizens! While the biggest city-of the state, Indore, topped the chart of the cleanest city competition for three successive years with its various novel methods, many other cities of the state have also fared well on this score. Bhopal, said to be one of the greenest capitals of the country, with beautiful natural features like lakes, hills and forested areas, has also been launching multiple initiatives to keep the city spic and span; the latest of the measures being the ewaste in collaction model launched by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) collebration with Sarthak Sanstha. Earlier, the decades-old large Bhanpur dumping ground’: garbage that weighed in several thousand metric tonnes and which was set to acquire the shape and
size similar to Delhi’s infamous Chazipur garbage dump, was treated in phases and the entire area has been cleaned up.
Once it was seen to be a real challenge for the city managers, but now the levelled ground there shows the good amount of
work put in.

PDoor-to-door daily collection of domestic garbage and putting up biodegradable and non- biodegradable waste bins all over has now resulted in a remarkable change, with Bhopal becoming largely a litter-free city in the last over two years of sustainable efforts. Bhopal is pitching up for the top slot in the All India competition with a number of technological innovations in place. Nov, the Sarthak Plastic Waste Management Ragpickers Upliftment Project, being implemented in association with United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) technical guidance, has focussed its attention on what is known as the world wide threat to environment-electronic waste! The NGO had already implemented plasticfree Bhopal campaign with a degree of
success and that `Bhopal Model’ is being replicated in many cities across India, says Imteyaz Ali, Sarthak President. The ragpickers, numbering over 2200 in the capital city, have been trained over the years by Sarthak and BMC and now having
been able to successfully segregate plastic, metal and other waste, some of them are being trained for e-waste collection and its proper disposal. Most ragpickers are now making Rs. 300-400 per day. Like most Indian cities, Bhopal too generates huge amount of plastic waste. According to the BMC Commissioner Vijay Datta, IAS, close to 11 MT plastic waste is generated in the city daily, besides other wastes which also include tetra packs, double coated plastic sheets, rubber footwear and glass bottles.

The e-waste collection model is not much different but yes, the non profit Sarthak Group has now kept a large number of dedicated E-Waste bins in the city with the help of MP Pollution Control Board, in addition to plying.

Door to door daily collection of domestic garbage and putting up biodegradable and non biodegradable waste bins all over has now resulted in remarkable change with Bhopal upcoming largely a litter-free city in the last over two years of sustainable efforts.



Media Coverage

An old and redone-up bus called ewaste ambulance-cum-clinic. This innovation is termed as the first such step in the country towards making the city e-waste free over the next few months. This bus collects e-waste from residential colonies and business districts of the city. So far, all this waste was going into the unorganised sector and polluting the environment. The collected waste would be scientifically treated by Rajasthan-based Green Tech, a Private company in Alwar. The BMC has set up a call center from where regulatory calls are being made to citizens to create awareness for waste disposal. The NGO is also proposing to issue Green Certificates to those who are bringing in the e-waste for disposal. On any given day more than 800-1000 such calls are made and E-waste collectors are dispatched to the homes for collection of electronic items which are junked by users: but they do not know how and where to throw them, said Datta, adding “With the e-ambulance moving in the city, more
and more e-waste collection is happening as people know it now that these electronic and electric gadgets and spares are
not to be thrown and mixed with domestic and kitchen waste’. Ali says that more than 70-80 calls have started coming in from citizens who wish to see the mobile ewaste ambulance which also houses clinic and dumping box. The e-waste is also being purchased at different rates which is proving to be a cash incentive. A touch screen mobile is being bought for Rs.100 and a kilogram of electric bulbs is being bought for Rs .10 and so on. Bhopal, not an industrialised city like Pune or Bengaluru, however generates 432 MTs of e-waste per year with citizens mixing the items with regular domestic waste. Now there is a solution provided by Sarthak and BMC to the citizens. The unique ewaste clinic was inaugurated in Bhopal by Union Environment Secretary CK Mishra and CPCB Chief SPS Parihar in January 2020 end. Laptop accessories, printers, monitors, mouse, cables, disc cartridges, fridge, broken or old washing machines and its parts or LED bulbs are being increasingly dumped into these bins by citizen or being sent to the bus. Ali says soon Bhopal will have more e-waste clinics set up in different areas of the widespread  city for the convenience of people. There are 24 items listed under e-waste category
so far and their disposal plans have also been put in place.

Sarthak is an NGO active in the field of science and environment friendly EWaste Management for over 20 years, and actively working in 8 states across the country, like Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra etc. and have been working in partnership with respective Government agencies, both at the Central and State levels.We have a strong social commitment and have organised the last-mile waste collectors (Rag-pickers- Sarthak Karmi) into a social group in order to enhance their standard of living, healthcare and education lobbying with Government agencies to provide them with health and life Insurance.

Such activities are part of our broader commitment towards the society at-large and we work in close co-operation with city administration (ULBs) in order to create a sense of waste management awareness at source i.e. making households understand the importance of the entire waste collection and disposal process. This enables the households to appreciate the importance of the Rag-pickers who ideally are a very important and respected unit of our society.


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