Riva Tulpule (L) with the WeCareDXB team and the e-waste they collected Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Ahead of World Environment Day (June 5), around 100 students from 36 different schools participated in a 10-day recycling drive that yielded over 2.6 tonnes of electronic waste.

Dubai-based Indian teen Riva Tulpule, initiator of the campaign and founder of ‘WeCareDXB’, told Gulf News her group has collected various electronic devices like laptops, mobile phones, mixers, TVs, water coolers, gaming consoles, head phones, music systems, CPUs , monitors, microwaves batteries, printers, numerous wires, plugs, and more.

“All of these were collected and recycled in an environmental-friendly way with the help of Enviroserve, one of the largest electronics recyclers and processors in the world based out of Dubai Industrial City,” she added.

Tulpule, who founded WeCareDXB in 2016, said: “Our team could not collect, gather and store the larger electronic items – or else the collection drive would have been much larger with some transport help. But we are planning to work it out on our next e-waste collection drive.”

She added: “Our objective is to spread the message of proper e-waste recycling. We have been working on this cause since the last six years through the WeCareDXB platform.”

How it started

In a previous Gulf News interview, Tulpule said she got the idea of responsible e-waste disposal while she was clearing out drawers filled with broken devices as her family was moving house some years ago.

That sparked the beginning of her campaign ‘WeCareDXB’ and she rallied her friends and neighbours to drop off broken laptops, mobile phones, printers, keyboards, and other items at a villa next door, which served as temporary storage, before the gadgets were sent for recycling.

“Many people simply dump old devices and appliances in the general waste as they are not aware of the options for recycling them,” Tulpule said.

She added: “When we were moving house, I had asked my mom why we can’t we just dispose the items we don’t need. She told me they need to be tackled in a special way but we were not sure exactly how to go about it. So that made me curious and I decided to do some research into it, which led me to this cause.”

Over the years, Tulpule said, her campaign has collected over 25 tonnes of e-waste for recycling. She said the devices have lots of plastic and metal parts that were recycled and diverted from landfills.