Around 65 metric tons of e-waste was generated in Sri Lanka per year, the Central Environment Authority’s (CEA) Director General Dr. Saranga Alahapperuma said.
“According to calculations, around 50 million metric tons of e-waste is generated throughout the world per year,” he said.
E-waste is all electrical and electronic equipment, after their life time.
Out of 50 million metric tons of e-waste, only ten percent was managed properly while the rest was dumped in the environment without a proper control, polluting the environment heavily, he said.
The National e-Waste Week is observed from May 27 to June 2.
Nearly 75 elements were available in these electronic and electrical items such as cell phones, batteries, Hybrid car batteries and CFL lighting units.
“Within these electrical and electronic items many metals and other hazardous elements are present,” he said.
“In Sri Lanka about 65 metric tons of e-waste is generated in a year. This is a huge burden for Sri Lanka. Environment Authorities in the world are looking for a better solution for this e-waste problem. Some countries in Europe as well as some in Asia, have managed to come up with a solution,” he said.
CEA introduced a system to collect and manage e-waste throughout the country in 2010.
“Still we don’t have a proper or a sustainable solution. We now collect e-waste and export them to countries like China, India and Pakistan where the solution is available,” he said.
E-waste recycling needed high-tech and was a costly procedure. For economic feasibility of these types of factories, more e-waste was required, he said.
He said, many in the private sector were eager to set up re-cycling factories in Sri Lanka but they want to import e-waste from other countries as the e-waste generated in Sri Lanka was not sufficient.
“The CEA is not in a position to allow importing of e-waste. But once our quantity rises, factories could be set up in the future. (Chaturanga Pradeep)