STAFF REPORT LHR: With no proper arrangements or a system to scientifically destroy electronic waste (e-waste) containing dangerous and toxic components such as mercury, cadmium and lead, serious environmental hazards are increasing especially in Lahore.

The Punjab Environment Protection Department (EPD), City District Government Lahore (CDGL) and Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) have so far failed to initiate any practical move to combat this growing danger. In the world, useless, expired, broken or thrown away gadgets are called e-waste and disposed of in a scientific manner at landfill sites.

E-waste includes computers, laptops, TVs, DVD/CD players, refrigerators, radios, mobile phones or any other electrical or electronic appliances have expired and are disposed of by the users. In Lahore, the biggest markets dealing in the business are Hafeez Centre, Hall Road, Beadon Road, Misri Shah, Mayo Hospital and Pakistan Mint (GT Road).

Environmentalists said e-waste volume in Lahore is rapidly increasing and there is no accurate estimate of the quantity of e-waste generated and recycled improperly in the city.

“Breaking, recycling or disposing of Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) in an uncontrolled environment without the necessary safety precautions could result in harmful side-effects for the workers and release toxins into the soil, air and groundwater,” said Shahid Bhatti, an environmentalist, while talking to his scribe.

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