E-Waste Recycling Management in India

Rapid technological advancements, technological advancements, and a high rate of obsolescence in the electronics industry have resulted in one of the world's fastest growing waste streams, which consists of end-of-life electrical and computer equipment products such as:

Many household items, such as refrigerators, washing machines, computers and printers, televisions, mobile phones, and iPods, contain toxic materials.

Environmental Concerns and Health Hazard

  • India produced 8 lakh tonnes of e-waste in 2012, raising environmental concerns and posing a health risk.
  • E-waste generation grows at a 10% annual pace.
  • Managing e-waste is extremely difficult.
  • Pollutants found in discarded electrical and computer appliances

Ewaste is comprise of

Consists of-
Ferrous & Non-ferrous Metals Plastics, Glass, Wood etc.

 

Iron & Steel -

50%

 

Plastics -

21%

 

Non-ferrous metal -

13%

 

Mercury, Arsenic, Lead etc.

 

 

Health and Environmental Effects of Hazardous Substances

  • Many of these substances are toxic and carcinogenic -The materials are complex and have been found to be difficult to recycle in an environmentally sustainable manner, posing a health hazard
  • The impacts are found to be worse in developing countries like India, where people recycling E-Waste are mostly in the unorganised sector, living in close proximity to dumps or landfills of untreated e-waste, posing a health hazard.

E-Waste in the Global Context

  • It is estimated that more than 50MT E-Waste is produced globally every year
  • A UN study predicted that by 2020, E-Waste from old computers will increase by 400% in China and by 500% in India compared to 2007 levels
  • If left to the whims of the informal sector, E-Waste recycling could cause rising environmental damage and health problems Furthermore, by 2020, E-Waste from discarded cell phones will be seven times higher in China than it was in 2007, and 18 times higher in India. China produces approximately 2.3 million tonnes of E-Waste domestically, second only to the United States, which produces approximately 3 million tonnes.
  • Such predictions illustrate the urgent need to address the problem of E-Waste in developing countries like India, where the collection and management of E-Waste, as well as the recycling process, has yet to be properly controlled.
  • Leaving E-Waste recycling to the whims of the informal sector which result in increased environmental damage and health problems.