- India is the fifth largest generator of e-waste in the world
- Delhi accounts for nearly 98,000 tonnes of e-waste every year
- Only 1.5 per cent of India's e-waste is recycled
Confused about where to discard your old phone or laptop? Not anymore. In a move to tackle the rampant dumping of electronic waste along with other waste types, the Delhi Government on Wednesday authorised the setting up of 37 e-waste collection centres across the city. The move comes in the wake of rising concerns about e-waste being dumped without segregation and the unauthorised dismantling of e-waste, which poses great environmental and health risks. These centres will ensure that e-waste is segregated and recycled properly, with regard to the Government notified E-Waste Management Rules, 2016, which came into force on October last year.
The Delhi Government’s move comes as a welcome relief for producers, manufacturers and users of electronic items and potential generators of waste. The E-Waste Management Rules 2016 clearly set different guidelines for manufacturers, producers and dealers and the collection centres will ensure that these rules are adhered to. The collection centres will be setup in accordance with the guidelines set by the Central Pollution Control Board. They will have proper storage facilities and will be provided with proper transportation facilities to ensure that the waste is transported to recycle facilities without causing any damage to the environment. The Department of Environment is presently scouting for locations to set up the collection centres.
The collection centres will be setup in accordance with the new e-waste management rules. All producers and dealers should deposit e-waste at these collection centres only. Even general public will be allowed to deposit e-waste at these collection centres, said Dr. Anil Kumar, Department of Environment, Government of Delhi.
Apart from authorising the setting up of e-waste collection centres, the Department of Environment also stressed on the need of proper disposal facilities for e-waste. Lack of proper disposal facilities often results in rampant dumping of e-waste, with no scope to recycle or reuse it. Due to lack of disposal facilities, many manufacturers burn e-waste, resulting in the release of pollutants in the air.
Proper disposal facilities will ensure that the waste is not burned or dumped. The waste from disposal facilities can be sent for recycling. We are also trying to identify spots where e-waste can be disposed while adhering to the new rules, said Dr. Kumar.
India is the fifth largest producer of e-waste in the world, producing about 1.8 million tonnes of e-waste annually a mere 1.5 per cent of India’s e-waste is recycled. Unauthorised dismantling of e-waste has been one of the country’s biggest waste management problems. Ill-equipped legislation and labour has resulted in e-waste often getting the same treatment as wet or dry waste, resulting in air pollution.
The collection centres like the ones Delhi is aiming for will ensure that e-waste is segregated at the source itself and sent for recycling, thus reducing the risks of burning or dumping of e-waste and thereby reducing environmental and health hazards altogether.