Dubai, Jan 16, 2021: When Dubai-based Indian teen Riva Tulpule was moving house a few years ago, she found lots of disused electronics while helping her mom clear out drawers. This sparked the beginning of her campaign ‘WeCareDXB’ that she said has collected over 25 tonnes of e-waste for recycling in over four years.
Recently, the 15-year-old held her latest collection round, rallying friends and the wider community to drop off over 2,000 broken laptops, tabs, mobile phones, printers, keyboards, and other items at a villa next door to her where is enough holding space.
Riva, a grade 10 student of GEMS Modern Academy, said many people simply dump old devices and appliances in the general waste as they are not aware of the options for recycling them. Riva got in touch with EnviroServe, “one of the largest electronics recyclers and processors in the world” based in Dubai, to hand over the collected items. She said the devices have lots of plastic and metal parts can be recycled, diverting waste from the landfills.
Raising awareness through social media and word of mouth, WeCareDXB has enlisted volunteers — students, professionals, the general public — to collect the items for recycling e-waste. “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 tacked 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,” said Riva.
During the latest collection round spanning 10 days in December 2020, over 60 students from 15 schools had signed up for the campaign. The students will be awarded certificates during a ceremony for them at EnviroServe later this month.