Status of Electronic Waste Management in India: A Review

Status of Electronic Waste Management in India: A Review

Sanjay Kumar Koli (Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Government Engineering College, India) and Athar Hussain (Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Government Engineering College, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5754-8.ch014
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Electronics waste is becoming a major global issue. Huge accumulation of e-waste and its recycling through primitive means for extraction of precious metals are a real concern in the developing countries due to the presence of hazardous materials in e-waste. The major portion of e-waste generated domestically as well as illegally imported is recycled in a crude manner leading to pollution of the environment. Current practices of e-waste management in India encounters many challenges like the difficulty in inventorization, ineffective regulations, pathetic and unsafe conditions of informal recycling, poor awareness of consumers, and reluctance on part of stakeholders to address the issues. As a result, toxic materials enter waste stream with no special precautions to avoid the known adverse impacts on the environment and human health. Resources are wasted when economically valuable materials are dumped. This chapter highlights the hazards caused due to improper handling of e-wastes and also describes some appropriate measures to be adopted for its management and safe disposal.
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2. E-Waste Global Scenario

As far as global e-waste management is concerned, Switzerland is the first country to implement the organized e-waste management system in the world. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Advance Recycling Fee (ARF) are the backbone of e-waste management system in Switzerland and other developed countries. Advanced countries like USA, UK, France & Germany generate 1.5 to 3 million tons of e-waste annually and are among the largest generators of e-waste. But these countries also have standardized e-waste management processes in place. Proper e-waste management, from efficient sourcing and collection right upto extraction and disposal of material, has ensured that this huge pile of junk turns into a lucrative business opportunity. Due to very stringent environmental standards, the cost of collection, pre-processing, recycling and disposal are pretty high. So for every organized recycler in the first world countries, there are quite a few who pose as recyclers and are mere brokers who ship these obsolete items to developing countries like India and China in the pretext of donation or second hand goods. With very ambiguous laws related to environmental protection, India, China and a few African countries have become dumping sites to the first world countries .There are many countries that have already started the “take back” system for electronic products and they also have dedicated laws on e-waste management. In USA, National Electronics Action Plan has been initiated by US Environment Protection Agency to address the various issue related to electronic waste. Two very important frameworks for protecting environment from e-waste have been put forward by European Union i.e., WEEE Directives and Restriction of use of Certain Hazardous Substances(RoHS),which are also implemented by other countries. According to EU directives (2003), it is mandatory for all 27 countries of European Union to recycle their e-waste (Jadhav,2013).

The global quantity of e-waste in 2014 is comprised of 1.0 Mt lamps, 3.0 Mt of Small IT, 6.3 Mt of screens and monitors, 7.0 Mt of temperature exchange equipment (cooling and freezing equipment), 11.8 Mt large equipment, and 12.8 Mt of small equipment. The amount of e-waste is expected to grow to 49.8 Mt in 2018, with an annual growth rate of 4 to 5 per cent(balde,2014).

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