E-WASTE MANAGEMENT : A PROBLEM OR AN OPPORTUNITY?
Due to rapid growth in
usage of electrical and electronic equipments in modern life style,
e-waste management is being considered as a fast growing global issue.
Cheap labor and lenient rules/regulations are the main factors causing
increased flooding of e-waste in Asian countries and Pakistan is one of
the most vulnerable countries among this list. This dumping of
electronic waste has become a critical environmental as well as human
health issue in Pakistan. More recently, e-waste recycling is emerging
as a cottage industry. One of the challenges in this industry is that
people involved with recycling are not trained nor prepared to handle
the recycling process, hence causing additional damage to the
recent study by IESE, NUST, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Faisalabad and
Rawalpindi were identified as major hubs of e-waste in Pakistan. In
addition to these cities, breaking/dismantling activity is also being
carried out in Kamonke and Gujranwala cities near Lahore. The survey
results showed that the recycling system includes people using open
plots and big houses in congested areas/communities to break down,
segregate and by burning/heating of various components of computers,
printers, screens and power supply units etc. Keeping in view the dire
nature of this issue, NUST Pakistan, in partnership with Griffith
University Australia, is embarking upon an international research
project on E-Waste management in Pakistan. To break ground for this
initiative, NUST organized a one-day seminar in collaboration with
Griffith University on Wednesday 23rd April 2014 at 11:30 to 1300 Hrs
at SEECS seminar Hall.
seminar started with a talk on E-waste: “a problem or an opportunity”
by Prof. Dr. Anwar Baig, IESE. Later, various related topics were
discussed including: review of issues, challenges and solutions for
e-waste in Pakistan by Mr. Sajid, Mr. Mustafa, Mr. Tanvir and Prof. Dr.
Arshad Ali. Mr. Peter Woods, Ms. Arfa Noor, and Dr. Sunil Heart of
Griffith Business School also shared their valuable experience. The
talk was attended by students and faculty from Institute of
Environmental Sciences and Engineering, NICE, School of Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science, and representatives of PITB, UNIDO,
UNDP, Capital Development Authority, Ministry of Climate Change and
NGOs. At the end, certificates were distributed among the participants.
At the end of
talk, both organizations agreed on the way forward to start such
activity in NUST. As a next step, Griffith University invited one
faculty member and MS student from NUST IESE, engaged in the E-waste,
for a visit to Australia to learn more about the E- waste program.