E-waste : SWaCH starts pop-up mobile ‘V collect – U Donate- Together WE recycle’ drive

Pune, May 18, 2019 – E-waste is the fastest growing waste challenge globally today. India is the 5th largest e-waste producing country with a contribution of approximately 3 million tons of e-waste every year. The waste is extremely hazardous to the environment and can play havoc if not disposed through proper channels as per the rules laid down by pollution control board. Club this with more traditional items that we discard on and off and you get a mountain of clutter that you do not always know what to do with.

Maharashtra ranks 1st in India in the generation of electronic waste. SWaCH has been one of the early adopters of recycling of E waste and has also been authorized by the PMC and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to collect E waste. It has also been collecting clothes and other discarded items for several years and recycling it all. However collection centres are not always easily accessible to everyone.

Keeping in mind the need of the hour and with due consultation with the citizens, PMC and SWaCH have come together to start a E waste plus other items donation drive once in a month starting with all areas of Aundh ward. Kiosks will pop-up on various predetermined locations for this.

Today’s event was flagging off a new system of Pop – up collection at various pre-determined locations on specific dates. Called pop-ups this sort of system has existed for flea markets and specialty stores, but never been used for waste collection. There will be moving collection centres or pop-up kiosks which will be stationed at prominent locations making it convenient for citizens to drop off not just E waste but also old clothes, toys book, household items that they wish to discard.

It will allow citizens all over to declutter instantly and easily dispose off what they do not want. We recycle, reuse and repurpose whatever we get. In fact we want to establish a thrift shop like I have heard exists in western countries. We invite you to visit our centre in Aundh and see what we are doing.” says Mangal Gaikwad, a waste picker and board member of SWaCH, who has been working in the Aundh area.

Smita Rajabali, who has been looking after this new recycling project says she was inspired by the second hand malls and consignment stores she has seen personally and on the internet. “It took some time and research but we have taken a plunge. We all have items that we do not know what to do with, and there is someone out there who can make good use of the item. It is the perfect recycling dream, especially if we all give and take as per our needs.”

Swapnali Saikar, a local corporator from the area was present at one of the points. She was happy to know about the new system “The collection will be decentralized so the process will be simpler and there will be an increase in the quantity of collection, I think”, she says. “A good initiative to reduce carbon foot print; now the people have it closer to home.”

Several councilors have lauded the effort and wished it success. The launch was flagged off from Star Market with a small procession with young citizens of Pune. SWaCH would conduct such Pop- up drives all over especially on the request of citizens. It also has a permanent centre near Bremen chowk, Aundh.