Electronic Waste and Its Management in India

The country’s economic growth, rise in per capita income, and technological innovations coupled with high obsolescence rate of electronic and electrical equipment to increase in the rate of generation of e-waste.

Toxic constituents such as Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are used in the manufacturing of electronic devices.

Disposal of e-waste from such electronic devices, without processing it in an environmentally sound manner, may affect the human health and environment including soil and ground water.

No comprehensive inventorization of e-waste generation in the country has been done. However, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB),  had projected 8.0 lakh tonsof e-waste generation in the year 2010.

In the country there are 178 dismantling/recycling units with a capacity of 441085.6 metric tonnes per annum. In Maharashtra there are 32 dismantling/recycling units with a capacity of 47810 metric tonnes per annum.

The Government has comprehensively revised E-waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011, and notified E-Waste (Management) Rules in March, 2016. The provisions of these Rules include expanded producers’ responsibility, setting up of producer responsibility organizations and e-waste exchange to facilitate collection and recycling,  assigning specific responsibility to bulk consumers of electronic products for safe disposal, providing for economic incentives for collection of electronic waste, and other measures which include responsibility of producers of electronic and electrical products for collection and channelizing of electronic waste.

The Rules provide for simplified permission process for setting up of dismantling and recycling facilities through single authorization based on Standard Operating Procedures (SoP) prescribed by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

State Governments have been entrusted with the responsibility for earmarking industrial space for e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities, and to undertake industrial skill development and establish measures for safety and health of workers engaged in dismantling and recycling facilities of e-waste.