Overview of E-waste Recycling license
One of the fastest-growing waste streams in the nation is electronic waste (or "e-waste"). The use of electronic equipment has increased dramatically because of the development of the information and communication technology industry. Consumers are being forced to discard outdated electronics due to their rapid obsolescence and subsequent upgrades, which creates a significant amount of e-waste in the solid waste stream.
If e-waste is stored in a safe location, recycled using proven techniques, or moved from one location to another entirely or in part in the formal sector, it is not hazardous. However, if the e-waste is recycled using crude techniques, it might be regarded as hazardous. Heavy metals, plastics, glass, and other materials found in e-waste can be potentially toxic and hazardous to both human health and the environment if they are not handled in an environmentally responsible way. Recycling e-waste in the informal sector using crude techniques can harm the environment. In India, e-waste is increasing at a 10% annual rate. This E-waste is primarily recycled in the informal economy using risky and inefficient techniques. Adequate legislative measures and cost-effective, environmentally friendly technological solutions would be needed to address the issue
Substances found in E-waste
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) that contain lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) are among the hazardous and toxic materials found in e-waste. All electronic parts and products, including cathode ray tubes (CRT), are the main sources of lead. Cadmium is found in monitors/ CRTs, while there may be mercury in switches and flat-screen monitors. Mercury is also found in CFL, relays, and some other specific products. Besides the cadmium in computer batteries, cadmium is also used for plating metal enclosures/ metal parts in sub-assemblies. Polychlorinated biphenyls are found in capacitors and transformers and as brominated flame retardant on printed circuit boards, plastic casings, cable, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cable sheathing for insulation and (Polybrominated diphenyl ethers) PBD/PBDE in plastic parts of electronics.
E-waste Recycling Practices in India
E-waste recycling practices in India are categorized into two approaches.
Informal E-waste recycling approach,
In India, 95% of e-waste is recycled in the informal sector, and 5% of the total e-waste volume is handled in a formal unit. As per the Department of Information Technology in and around metropolitan cities in India, there are over 3000 units engaged in the in-formal sector for e-waste recycling. In-formal units of e-waste recyclers are distributed all over India. A large cluster of industries are in Tamil Nadu, U.P., Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc.
In-formal units generally follow the steps like collection of the e-waste from the rag pickers and disassembly of the products for their parts that are useable, components, and modules, which have resale value. To recover precious metals from the remaining material, chemical treatment is used. Hazardous substances may be released into the air, soil, and water through insufficient means. This recycling method is ineffective, and only valuable metals like gold, silver, aluminium, copper, etc. are recovered using it. It was impossible to recover other materials like tantalum, cadmium, zinc, palladium, etc.
Formal E-waste recycling approach
Few formal recyclers are operating in India. The formal sector's processes are primarily restricted to the separation and disassembly of electronic waste up until the stage of printed circuit boards (PCBs) size reduction. To reduce the size of PCBs, a shredder is used. The pre-processed printed circuit board is exported to smelting refineries in developed nations for additional precious metal recovery, such as copper, silver, gold, aluminium, palladium, tantalum, ruthenium, and platinum, as well as environmentally friendly slag byproduct treatment.
In India, there is still no end-to-end e-waste recycling solution. Units in the formal sector recycle or recover valuable substances under controlled conditions and with the utmost care to prevent harm to the environment or society. Metals are recovered effectively thanks to the application of cutting-edge techniques and technologies. Units in the formal sector will be able to use recovery technology economically because the high cost of capital equipment and necessary techniques can be spread across a larger number of products. E-Metals at the trace level can also be recovered, and formal recycling has a high efficiency of recovery. Some technology employs a "zero-landfill" strategy.
Most of the e-waste in India is channeled to the in-formal sector, whereas the formal sector is facing the problem of not having sufficient input materials. The Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling & Transboundary) Rules, 2008, were amended by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) to include sufficient clauses to address the problem. The MoEF had informed all government departments and offices that e-waste generated in various offices should primarily be disposed of in accordance with these Rules in an environmentally responsible manner. The safe and responsible handling of such wastes produced in the occupier's facilities is now their responsibility. Additionally, it was suggested that businesses handling and involved in e-waste collection, segregation, dismantling, and recycling register with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Legislative/Regulatory Framework to deal with e-waste
The regulatory framework related to E-waste has been followed for a long time. Some of the regulations and legislations are-
Factories Act 1948 (amended till present)
Several contaminants arising out from the manufacturing or recycling of electronic components are listed in this Act.
Environmental Protection Rules 1986 (amended till present)
There is no direct standard that can address pollutants from electronics manufacturing or recycling industries. However, certain Pollution Control Board (PCB) units fall in the electroplating category and are therefore required to abide by the effluent disposal norms as given in Schedule 1 of these rules.
E-waste (Management and Handling) Rule 2011
These rules apply to every producer, bulk consumer or consumer involved in manufacturing, selling, purchasing, and processing electrical and electronic equipment or components as specified in the schedule. The producer will be responsible for the entire life cycle of e-waste. The principle adopted in this rule is based on “Extended Producer Responsibility”. Extended Producer Responsibility can be considered as a strategy to control and manage e-waste. The above rule is unclear regarding the liability of informal/unorganized sector people. The rule has also not restricted the import and export of e-waste.
Challenges Faced During E-waste Recycling Licence
India faces a number of other challenges in effective management of e-waste, such as:
Lack of infrastructure
The gap between e-waste that is being collected and recycled by authorized dismantlers/recyclers and the total quantum of e-waste being generated is huge. The existing recycling facilities face issues from a lack of suitable environmentally sound technologies to a lack of a fast supply of raw materials. This is primarily due to consumers selling their old electronics to unauthorized recyclers for quick cash because it is simpler and faster, and they are unaware of the hazardous effects of improper e-waste recycling. As a result, registered recycling facilities are cut off from a consistent flow of e-waste, which is essential to their survival. Currently, only a small portion of the total amount of generated e-waste is collected by India's authorized e-waste recycling facilities; the remainder is recycled informally.
High Cost of Setting Up Recycling Facilities
Advanced recycling technology is expensive and makes large investments risky, especially when sourcing e-waste is a challenge. Most of the formal recycling companies in India limit their role to only the pre-processing of e-waste, wherein the crushed e-waste with precious metals is exported to smelting refineries outside India.
Benefits of E-waste Recycling License
Future Initiatives E-waste Recycling License
Recognizing the potential of the formal e-waste recycling sector in alleviating the environmental issues caused by unscientific methods of handling and disposal of e-waste, the Government of India has taken the following new future initiatives:
Boosting the Formal E-waste Recycling Industry
The E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, were amended with the intention of directing the nation's generated e-waste towards authorized dismantlers and recyclers in order to formally establish the e-waste recycling sector.
Addressing the Informal Sector
Maintaining the gap between formal and informal sectors by improving the working conditions and minimizing the work related to toxic exposure at the e-waste collection, processing, recovery, and disposal sites.
Documents Required for E-waste Recycling License
An E-waste recycling license in India typically requires a number of different documents and information. These records and details support your efforts to manage e-waste responsibly and in accordance with laws and regulations. The following is a list of the papers and information frequently required for an E-waste recycling license
Process for E-waste Recycling Licence
Consult with our e-waste consultant prior to applying. They will help you properly fill out your application form and explain everything you need to know about your duties as a licensee, including helpful advice on how to run your business in an environmentally responsible manner. You'll receive the form from our advisor. Complete the e-waste recycling license application form, attach all necessary supporting documentation, and mail it to us.
From 2023 onwards, Producers must comply with the E-Waste recovery targets set up by the E-Waste (Management) rules, and the average lifetime of products is used to calculate these targets. Following is the recycling rate given which the producers are required to reach:
According to the 2016 E-waste Management Rules, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) calculates the national e-waste generation based on data on producer sales across the nation and the average life of notified electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). E-waste generated in the nation from the twenty-one (21) types of EEE notified under the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, as of Financial Year (FY) 2017–18 is given below, according to data held by CPCB:
|Financial Year||Generation of E-Waste (Tonnes)|
Fig- Generation of E-waste
Source- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
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Frequently Asked Questions
Under the E-Waste (M) Rules, 2016, 'Electrical and Electronic Equipment' (EEE) means equipment that has a dependency on electric current or electromagnetic field to make it become functional.
Yes, a dismantler/recycler can collect e-waste on behalf of their producers as a part of the EPR plan. Further authorized dismantlers/ recyclers can also collect e-waste on their own.
Starting an E-waste recycling business requires taking into account a number of crucial factors, such as getting the required tools, hiring qualified workers, managing daily operations, managing public relations, and taking care of financial matters.
Complete e-waste management, including collection, recycling, and repurposing, can be a lucrative and environmentally responsible business venture, particularly in India, which generates a lot of e-waste.
To get started, the Udyog Aadhaar portal is used to register your e-waste recycling company as a Micro, Small, or Medium Enterprise (MSME). Numerous advantages, including financial incentives and access to government programs, are provided by this registration.
According to data from the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, only 32.9% of the e-waste produced in India in 2021–2022 was recycled. Even though the number is higher than in previous years, it still shows that a startling 10,74,024 tonnes (67%) of e-waste was not processed.
India is currently the third-largest producer of e-waste in the world, after the US and China. In India, the amount of e-waste has significantly increased, reaching 1.6 million tonnes in 2021–22.
The largest end-to-end e-waste recycling facility in India, Cerebra Green, has been introduced by Cerebra Integrated Technologies, which has its headquarters in Bengaluru.
One of the top businesses in India that recycles electrical and electronic (EEE) waste is Namo eWaste Management Ltd.
Since it began operating in September 2005, E-Parisaraa Pvt. Ltd., India's first government-authorized recycler of electronic waste, has been working to handle, recycle, and reuse waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in an environmentally friendly manner.