National

E-waste recycling has doubled, says Centre

According to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, India generates about 2 million tonnes (MT) of e-waste annually and ranks fifth among e-waste producing countries, after the US, China, Japan and Germany.

According to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, India generates about 2 million tonnes (MT) of e-waste annually and ranks fifth among e-waste producing countries, after the US, China, Japan and Germany.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A recycling rate of 10% in 2017-18 has risen to a little over 20% in 2018-19

The government said it more than doubled the electronic waste (e-waste) it recycled in 2018-19 over 2017-18, according to a response to a question in the Rajya Sabha this week.

In 2017, the Centre brought into effect the E-waste Rules, which require companies that make or sell electronic equipment to collect a certain percentage of e-waste generated from their goods once they have reached their “end-of-life”.

In 2017-2018, the companies were supposed to have collected 10%. This would rise to 70% by 2023. But doing this would require these firms to work with licensed e-waste recyclers and ensure that all e-waste is safely disposed.

Data provided

The approximate estimated generation of e-waste in FY 2017-2018 for electrical and electronic equipment based on the sales data of 244 producers was 7,08,445 tonnes of which 69,414 tonnes were recycled, whereas in FY 2018-2019, based on the sales data of 1,168 companies, the e-waste generation estimate was 7,71,215 tonnes of which 1,64,663 tonnes were recycled. This translates to a 10% recycling rate in 2017-18 rising to a little over 20% in 2018-19.

The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requires producers to set up e-waste exchange facilities to facilitate collection and recycling, and assigning specific responsibility to bulk consumers of electronic products for safe disposal. State governments have been entrusted with the responsibility for earmarking industrial space for e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities; to undertake industrial skill development; and to establish measures for protecting the health and safety of workers engaged in the dismantling and recycling facilities for e-waste.

Higher estimates

The e-waste produced in India as per the data provided by the government is lower than estimates by international agencies. According to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, India generates about 2 million tonnes (MT) of e-waste annually and ranks fifth among e-waste producing countries, after the US, China, Japan and Germany.

Most of India’s e-waste is recycled by the informal sector and under hazardous conditions. A report by the Union Environment Ministry in 2018 found that many of India’s e-waste recyclers weren’t recycling waste at all. While some were storing it in hazardous conditions, many didn't even have the capacity to handle such waste.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:51:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/e-waste-recycling-has-doubled-says-centre/article30983383.ece

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