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Q. What is E-waste?

‘E-waste’ means electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes.

Q. What is the quantity of e-waste generated in India?

The total generation of e-waste in India in 2016 was to the tune of 18 lakh metric tonnes by some estimates. It is likely to reach 52 lakh metrics tonnes by 2020 growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 30%.

Q. How much e-waste is generated globally?

According to UN studies, in 2016, 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste were generated, in which 40.7% of world e-waste was generated in Asia.

Q. Is E-waste hazardous in nature?

Yes, E-waste is hazardous in nature due to the presence of toxic substances in the product.

Q. What are the hazardous chemicals found in e-waste?

The hazardous constituents in e-waste are heavy metals like lead, cadmium and mercury, polychlorinated-bi-phenyl (PCB), brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and chromium (VI).

Q. What are the health hazards caused by e-waste?

E-waste can be hazardous, when it is disposed and treated in environmentally unsound manner. Direct contact of the harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and exposure to toxic fumes may cause serious health hazards.  Furthermore, recycling activities such as dismantling of electrical equipment without the use of Personal Protective Equipment as specified by the E-waste Management rules, 2016 may potentially bear an increased risk of injury.

Q. What are the environmental hazards caused by e-waste?

Accumulation of toxic substances by improper recycling methods may cause serious environmental problems.  Toxic chemicals and heavy metals leaching into soil and water may cause pollution, while Toxic fumes reach in to the environment and cause air pollution.

Q. When were E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016 notified?

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the E-Waste Management Rules, in March, 2016 in supersession of the e-waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011. The rules became effective from 1st of October, 2016 one the guidelines to the rules were published.

Q. What are the categories of e-waste under E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016?

There are 2 categories covered in schedule-I of E-waste Management Rules, 2016:

Information technology and telecommunication equipment:

Centralised data processing: Mainframes, Minicomputers, Personal Computing: Personal and laptop Computers, Notebook, Notepad, (Central Processing Unit with input and output devices), Printers including cartridges, Copying equipment, Electrical and electronic typewriters, User terminals and systems, Facsimile, Telex, Telephones, Pay telephones, cordless telephones, Cellular telephones, Answering systems

Consumer electrical and electronics:

Television sets (including sets based on (Liquid Crystal Display and Light Emitting Diode technology), Refrigerator, Washing Machine, Air-conditioners excluding centralised air conditioning plants, Fluorescent and other Mercury containing lamps

Q. What is EPR?

‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ (EPR) means responsibility of any producer of electrical or electronic equipment, for channelisation of e-waste to ensure environmentally sound management of such waste. Extended Producer Responsibility may comprise of implementing take back system or setting up of collection centres or both and having agreed arrangements with authorised dismantler or recycler either individually or collectively through a Producer Responsibility Organisation recognised by producer or producers in their Extended Producer Responsibility – Authorisation.

Q. What are the set targets for e-waste collection under EPR?

The collection targets prescribed in Schedule III of the Rules. The phase wise collection Target for e – waste, which can be either in number or Weight shall be 30% of the quantity of waste generation as indicated in EPR Plan during 2017-18 of implementation of rules followed by 40% during third and fourth years, 50% during fifth and sixth years and 70% from seventh year onwards. Another proposal to reduce the collection target is in draft notification  (http://envfor.nic.in/sites/default/files/GSR-1349(E)_0.pdf) under which collection target for e – waste, shall be 10% of the quantity of e- waste generation during 2017-18, 20% in 2018-19, the collection target will increase subsequently each year and  70% of collection target will be from 2023 onwards.

Q. What is the key role that producers have to play under EPR?

The key roles of the producers under EPR are as follows:

  • To facilitate return of used electrical and electronic equipment by providing contact details such as address, telephone numbers/helpline number of authorized collection centers to consumer(s) or bulk consumer(s)
  • creating awareness through publications, advertisements, posters, or by any other means of communication and information booklets accompanying the equipment, with regard to:
  • information on hazardous constituents as detailed in sub-rule 1 of rule 13 in EEE
  • information on hazards of improper handling, accidental breakage, damage and/or improper recycling of e-waste
  • instructions for handling the equipment after its use, along with the Do’s and Don’ts
  • affixing a visible, legible and indelible symbol on the products or information booklets to prevent e-waste from being dropped in garbage bins

Q. What is RoHS?

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) is a Directive of the European Union on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. RoHS is one of a handful of European legislation that intended to eliminate or reduce the use of cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and lead in all products from automobiles to consumer electronics. The components of electrical and electronic equipment manufactured or placed on the market six years before the date of commencement of these rules are exempted.

 Q. What are the restricted materials mandated under RoHS?

The directive restricted the use of six hazardous materials including Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment with following permissible limits:

  • Lead -1000 PPM
  • Cadmium -100 PPM
  • Mercury -1000 PPM
  • Hexavalent Chromium -1000 PPM
  • Poly Brominated Biphenyles -1000 PPM
  • Poly Brominated Diphenyles Ether -1000 PPM

Q. Why is RoHS compliance important?

The restricted materials are hazardous to the environment and pollute landfills, and are dangerous in terms of occupational exposure during manufacturing and recycling.

Q. Why do you need to dispose off your e-waste in a proper manner?

We should dispose off our e-waste in proper manner so that it reaches to the authorised recycler for recovery of precious metals and protection of the environment and health from toxic substances contained in e-waste. This will help us to create a system for circular economy.

Q. How we can dispose our e-waste in proper manner?

  • Give your e-waste to the nearest authorised e-waste collection centres/recyclers
  • Call to the producer/ manufacturers for e-waste collection
  • Participate in Producers’ e-waste take-back programme
  • Contact to the dealer for e-waste collection
  • Participate in E-waste Awareness programme of MeitY for more information

Q. What is the responsibility of the consumers under the e-waste management rules, 2016?

Consumers of electrical and electronic equipment listed in Schedule I shall ensure that e-waste generated by them is channelized through collection centre or dealer of authorised producer or dismantler or recycler or through the designated take back service provider of the producer to authorised dismantler or recycler.

Q. What is the role of the Central and the State Pollution Control Boards as far the e-waste management rules are concerned?

  •  Coordination with State Pollution Control Boards/ Committees of Union territories
  • Preparation of Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of e-waste
  • Conduct assessment of e-waste generation and processing
  • Recommend standards and specifications for processing and recycling e-waste
  • Documentation, compilation of data on e-waste and uploading on websites of Central Pollution Control Board
  • Conducting training & awareness programmes
  • Submit Annual Report to the Ministry of Environment & Forests
  • Enforcement of provisions regarding reduction in use of hazardous substances in manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment
  • Initiatives for IT industry for reducing hazardous substances
  • Set targets for compliance to the reduction in use of hazardous substance in manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment