Dialog Telekom has launched the first mobile phone battery, handset and accessory take back initiative in Sri Lanka.
Dialog has volunteered to collect and process M-Waste in an environmental sound manner, Central Environment Authority (CEA) Chairman Udaya Gammanpila said.
Addressing the media at the official launch of â€˜Recycle and make them smileâ€™ Gammanpila said that Dialog GSM is ahead of the CEA by one step and that the other corporations in the industry should follow the example of Dialog. â€œSri Lankans dump E-Waste without realizing the consequences. Cellular phones contain hazardous metals such as copper, zinc and lead and their emanation would lead to air, water and soil pollutionâ€ he said.
Moreover he pointed out that the well being of the fauna and flora of the country would be at jeopardy. However the M-Waste recycle programme would prevent pollution and it will conserve the limited resources of the country as well.
Furthermore he divulged that the mobile industry is growing by 10 percent annually and that E-Waste was a growing concern of the CEA and also the rest of the world.
He revealed that the island had no place to dispose the E-Waste and that now the Mobile waste could be easily exonerated since there are M-Waste recycle plants in countries like Singapore and UK. Chairman Gammanpila added that regulations regarding E-Waste were introduced in 1996 but there was no progress beyond storage of the waste, but now the CEA intends to introduce new regulations to support the cause of the M-Waste programme.Dialog Telekom Group Chief Executive Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya stated that early and precautionary measures should be taken regarding the mounting E-Waste for the sake of the entire country.This year Dialog is to donate the monetary contributions received through M-Waste to the gifting of toys for needy children this Christmas Season. After this the proceedings would be donated quarterly or monthly to various charities and welfares.
â€œOther players not just in the mobile industry but the entire E-Industry should join hands in the eradication of the E-Wasteâ€ he said.The M-Waste Recycle Plants will strip the accessories and extract the valuable components in order to use them in the future, Dialog Corporate Responsibility Senior Manager Michael De Soyza.
He further pointed out that according to a peer reviewed studies indicate that approximately 10 percent of mobiles and batteries in emerging markets are discarded presumably to a garbage bin and therefore landfill would be the final result.
De Soyza stated that the government could save 700 cubic meters by preventing 130 tons of waste if the M-Waste programme is implemented effectively. Dialog hopes to collect 1 million discarded handsets by 2010. Fourteen collection points will be established during the first phase covering Greater Colombo, Badulla, Galle, Kandy and Wennappuva. Dialog has pledged to match every mobile battery returned with Rs.10 and every mobile with Rs.25 towards the donations. The consumers returning mobile accessories will receive a leaflet clarifying the process of their contributions.
â€œM-Waste benefits the economy by returning the precious scarce materials to the manufacturing cycle and reducing the harmful components from causing excess landfillâ€ De Soyza said.