Electronic waste or e-waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling or disposal are also considered e-waste.
India has not yet started a programme to formally train people in tackling electronic waste which has been increasing three times faster than any other solid waste.
Interestingly, the lion’s share of electronic waste or e-waste disposal currently is managed by untrained and self-employed people in the informal sector and they are not doing a bad job.
These untrained e-waste workers may be illiterate but they are highly innovative and possess a spirit of entrepreneurship. They either re-use a gadget or take out the components and recycle them and very little is left for final disposal.
There were about 25,000 people picking up and processing e-waste and about 4,000 traders, Bineesha said.
Thus, India’s record in tackling e-waste is – curiously – better than that of some developed countries, but that situation would not last long.
In the developed world, the entire equipment is crushed and then its valued metal or/and other content is extracted if possible. But in India, the equipment is dismantled carefully and each component is retrieved to be either re-used or made to yield its valued content.