Another survey earlier this year by Kathmandu University’s Subodh Luitel found that e-waste makes up almost 0.5% of the total municipal waste in Kathmandu, which is close to the global average. That may not seem like a lot, but much more is discarded without the knowledge of the Municipality.
“At the pace we are moving, it is guaranteed to be a major crisis,” warned electronic waste management expert Keshav Parajuly at a workshop on e-waste last month in Kathmandu.
Increasing purchasing power, planned obsolescence of electronic gadgets and the lack of strict regulation on disposal has eroded the Nepali culture of repairing, reusing and recycling, according to Sanjay Golcha of the Him Electronics.
“On average, Nepalis change their mobile phones every 15 months. More than 6 million phones are imported every year. There has to be a mechanism for their disposal,” he added.