Most of us have a residual television, mobiles or computers which we neither use any longer nor throw away as easily as other household residues, but just remain in some corner of a room in the house or inside almirah. Sooner or later these ‘E-Wastes’ are to be either burned or thrown away carelessly in the river or some dumping site which finally leads to pollution. On one hand, it is harmful to the environment while on the other hand, it destroys the residual value of the good completely.
Realizing this, a group of youths, led by Reasal Shrestha, have initiated proper management of E-Wastes in Nepal. ‘These E-Wastes are the kind of residues which cannot be used as per their original purpose but can be reused for a different purpose with some technical maintenance,’ says Reasal Shrestha, founder of E-Waste Management (EWM) Nepal, ‘E-Wastes are considered hazardous and though there is no actual data of the contribution of e-wastes towards pollution, its management will reduce pollution greatly. Besides, it will also grow sentiments in people for the management of other wastes.’ Groomed by OYA Inc., EWM Nepal has been running for a year in this field.
Established with an aim to completely manage electronic wastes in Nepal by either reusing or recycling them, EWM Nepal also provides electronic resources to people in rural areas after maintenance to spread digital education. The company is also providing technical skills and employment to youths, especially from minority communities.
‘We are working on a three-layered structure: collecting centers, EWM garage and distribution centers for the management process,’ says Reasal, ‘Besides, we also have training centers in the first phase where we trained the unemployed youths for the maintenance job.’ EWM Nepal encourages people to donate their wastes but also buys e-wastes at a reasonable price from people. ‘We have set-up a website: www.ewaste.com.np for the sake of information and people can even inform about their e-wastes through the website and our volunteers will collect the waste.’ EWM Nepal then processes the waste in their garage and distributes some portion of the maintained electronic goods to schools and libraries in rural areas. ‘With the rest portion of the goods, we sell them at price with a margin so that we can earn a profit for the business,’ says Reasal, ‘In this way, we can help reduce pollution as well help people of rural areas while earning some profit for ourselves. It is a win-win for all.’
EWM Nepal has so far given training and employment to 10 youths so far and collected e-wastes from many places, especially in Kathmandu area. ‘We have reached out to schools both inside and outside the valley and are also planning to reach slum areas even in city-areas so that we can establish Knowledge centers where people of all ages can learn digitally. Moreover, we are also planning to pilot in other cities in the country as well,’ added Reasal when asked about their plan in coming days.