All of the waste management strategies require the participation of the citizenry to be efficient and effective. E-waste management is no different and since it is harder to dispose of than normal garbage, participation from citizens becomes even more important.
Here are the five ways in which citizen participation in e-waste management can be increased:
By raising awareness about harms of e-waste
Most of the people are still unaware about the great threat that e-waste is. They have no knowledge of the poisonous chemicals and heavy metals involved in the electronics which cause severe diseases in human beings and pollute the environment around us. So, the first step should be to run awareness campaigns about e-waste to educate the masses. Any concerted action in e-waste management would require the support of the people and support can only be expected when they are aware about the problem.
Major electronic brands should take initiative
All of the major brands spend a lot of their resources to properly advertise their products. They are major stake-holders when it comes to anything related to electronics. They can add one or two lines about e-waste management in their advertisements. This would surely raise the awareness regarding the electronic waste. EPR extended producer responsibility must be fostered.
They should also try to devise strategies to make more and more people replace their previous smartphones, laptops and other devices while buying a new one. It would incentivize people to replace their electronic products rather than throwing them away.
Civil society should gear up
Civil society should keep finding interesting ways to increase participation of people in e-waste management. They can organize small drives at local levels to make people aware about the menace of electronic waste. In those drives, they can collect used electronic items from the people, refurbish them a bit and re-distribute them among the needy students and people. On one hand this will help them while on the other hand it will also connect people directly in the fight against e-waste.
Robust efforts from government
Namo E-waste, the best e-waste recycler in India, believes that the Indian government has launched various initiatives regarding e-waste management but government policies regarding e-waste have achieved little success because people are oblivious to the issue of e-waste. Government should bring in all the resources including government schools, universities, colleges and offices to engage with people by conducting workshops, programs and drives. Municipal Corporations and local administration should be made more sensitive to the issue of e-waste. Strong guidelines must be issued and proper supervision should be conducted.
In addition to this, the government can also engage local bodies at Village Panchayat levels to reach out to the people living in the countryside.
Reaching out to children
Children are not only more perceptive to environmental concerns but they are also the citizens of tomorrow and therefore it is very necessary to reach out to them. E-waste management, methods of its disposal and concepts of reusing and recycling should be thoroughly taught at all levels so that they can become the actors of change. Educating Children will not only bring awareness to their homes and parents but it will also create a foundation for a better tomorrow.