Vidhee Tripathi, Staff Reporter
New Delhi: In a bid to bring circularity and inclusivity to the e-waste recycling sector in India, E[co] work on Tuesday launched a first-of-its-kind co-working space in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.
It also aimed to “institutionalize e-waste management”, by bringing the informal and formal sectors under one roof which will offer e-waste microentrepreneurs a shared infrastructure with relevant facilities.
“The licensed facility is equipped with dismantling units, storage spaces, tables, tools, office and meeting rooms, equipment, and washrooms to offer the informal e-waste sector a space dedicated to dignifying and formalizing their work,” said the official statement.
According to the ICEA report, E-waste management is largely informal in India, as in the case of recycling. Roughly 90% of the collection and 70% of the recycling are managed by a very competitive informal sector.
The company said E[co]work fills this gap by providing dismantling and recycling infrastructure for India’s e-waste microentrepreneurs that is at par with the formal sector.
The facility offers secure storage, personal protection equipment, and disposal of hazardous waste.
The co-working space provides plug-and-play units for a seamless work experience. It also aims to be an affordable working solution for microentrepreneurs in the sector through its offering of a “pay-per-use” model.
In India, the majority of e-waste is handled by the informal sector often under inferior conditions. While the sector provides livelihoods for many families, it also often negatively impacts the environment and workers’ health.
Speaking about initiative, Deepali Sinha Khetriwal, co-founder of E[co]work said “We see ourselves turning a problem into an opportunity. We’re driven with the purpose of connecting the formal and informal sectors, empowering micro-entrepreneurs, and creating effective solutions for safe and inclusive resource recovery.
“We see ourselves as catalysts that bring together the physical, social, and digital elements to drive change for a more sustainable, inclusive, and circular world” she added.
Making the initial remarks, Ashish Tiwari, Secretary, Environment, Forest & Climate Change Department, Government of UP said, ” The largest challenge facing India in the years to come would be e-waste, and the E[co]Work plan to establish shared facilities for e-waste sorting and disposal will have a significant impact on the industry”.
He said that “India currently produced 3 million metric tonnes of e-waste annually and Uttar Pradesh ranked first among the states in the nation because of its both population and large area”.
The company claimed that the vision is supported by the Government’s LiFE Mission, legislation, and corporate commitments for improved conditions, efficiency, and transparency in the recycling sector.