E-WASTE GENERATION IN AN ACADEMIC CAMPUS: IIT KHARAGPUR AS A CASE STUDYSAMIR KUMAR JENA AND SUDHA GOEL
Tremendous growth in the electronics and IT industries in India in the last 2 to 3 decades has led to e-waste becoming the fastest growing waste stream in the country. The objective of this study was to determine e-waste generation rates and disposal practices for three popular electronic products: computers, cell (mobile or tablet) phones and printers. An online primary survey was conducted in IIT Kharagpur in September-October 2013 and 202 responses were received from 100 undergraduate students, 75 faculty members and 27 post-graduate students and staff members. Overall e-waste generation rates in IIT Kharagpur were 0.18 units/capita-y for computers and 0.46 units/capita-y for mobile phones. Results further show that computers are being replaced within 4.8 to 6.5 years, while cell phones are replaced in 1.6 to 3 years. Only 78 respondents were printer owners and their cartridge disposal practices were evaluated in this survey. 55% of these respondents threw used cartridges into the dustbin, 22% stored their cartridges, 14% returned their cartridges to the producer, vendor or other business person, and 9% refilled their cartridges. Further, estimated e-waste generation rates for India were collected from the literature and were obtained from 2003 to 2012. The data were found to best-fit a linear equation which can then be used to predict future e-waste generation rates.
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