The number of e-waste is growing with the growing requirement for upgraded and new technologies and electronic products. An introduction to advance technology means the production of millions of tonnes of e-waste in different places of the world. The increase in the sale and purchase of electronic products will generate a profitable economic environment for the e-waste business.
Importance of E-waste recycling business
E-waste is a non-biodegradable waste and also hazardous in nature. It contains chemicals, acids and materials that are harmful to the environment. With the generation of millions of tonnes of e-waste, it is leading to a serious global problem. This e-waste pollutes the place where they are dumped, so it is important to recycle them. The materials which are part of e-waste can be reused or semi-used after making little changes. Reusing the materials ensures that the unused materials are utilized, and it also reduces the purchase of the raw materials.
Recycling gives a great return to the e-waste recycling business as a huge market of recycled goods makes it favourable for the recycling business, and thus it becomes a profitable activity.
An e-waste business plan is important for the long-term survival of the recycling business. It serves as a roadmap for its potential recycling operations. The plan should have initial and ongoing costs, a list of companies from which e-waste is to be collected, production capacity, and also the pricing strategy.
Preferable recycling items for e-waste business
All the electronic items are covered under the e-waste business. However, some are given preference because they are easily recyclable, and some have greater value as e-waste or value after recycling. Considering all these reasons, the most preferred e-waste materials or items are:
- Detective or obsolete electronic products
- Discarded circuit board
- Waste phones
- 5-volt, D, C, AA, AAA, AAAA, A23, 9-volt, CR2032 and LR44 cells
- Discarded televisions
- Discarded computer monitors
- Old keyboards or mouse
- Other various computer accessories
- Camera, DVD, MP3, clocks, flashlights
- Kitchen products such as microwaves, toasters, refrigerator
- Calculators, Air conditioners, and other electronic products.
Equipment used in E-waste business
For each stage of recycling e-waste, there are different kinds of equipment and machines that are required to recycle easily and efficiently. The following are some equipment required in the e-waste business:
- Cirrus: It helps in segregating e-waste material from plastic or other materials. it is a very recent innovation, and it uses high-resolution NIR sensors. It has a colour sensor and metal detector. It works efficiently, and so using this can boost the speed of segregation.
- L-Vis: It is also used in segregation to separate the materials from the whole chunk. It uses a high-resolution camera to do this. It separates small particles, minerals, scraps, pellets, etc. Its unique feature is that it uses colour and shape in order to detect as well as separate them. Split configuration, metal detector, statics and quality control reports, colour touch screen for interaction and the choice of language make it easy to operate. This ensures that even a novice user can use it.
- Metal Sort: It is an induction-based sensor system metal sort. It is used to sort out fine metal particles from e-waste, including glass, e-scraps, plastic flakes, etc. It requires minimal expenditure for its maintenance and also it is very reliable. It comes in different sizes based on the requirement of the business.
- E-sort: From one input stream, it generates three products. It sorts metal, circuit board, and other plastic resins.
Steps involved in starting an E-waste business
Some of the common steps involved in starting an e-waste business include the following:
- Making business plan
The first step is to make a business plan. Perform the feasibility analysis test by a professional and make a proper business plan.
- Selection of location
An e-waste business requires a good space to install the plant involved in it. It should be outside the city as permission to install such business plant is not generally granted inside the city. The premises or the space can also be leased. Before finalizing the location, one needs to get approval from the appropriate authorities to establish the plant.
- Registration and licensing
The registration of the e-waste business is required. One needs to obtain permission from the authorized authority first for such registration with proper documentation and licensing. Also, for the registration, the business plan is mandatorily required.
Once the business plan is registered, it gets a registration number, and so it becomes the taxpayer.
This business also demands different types of permission and licensing from the Government authorities. Some of them are:
- Udyog Aadhar MSME
- Consent to Establish from the respective State Pollution Control Board
- If the business is related to the import of e-waste scraps, then there is a need to take permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forest for the import of such scraps.
- Capital investment
With the preparation of a business plan, one can get an idea of the amount required for the e-waste business establishment and operation. There are many factors which are involved in fixing such amount, such as area, type of plant or business, size of business, resources used, production and sale, etc.
- Staff and tools
There is a requirement for a team of people to carry out the work related to the business. Hiring should be based on skill and professionalism. Such business also demands different equipment and tools. Some specific tools are only used in such businesses, such as crushers, etc.
Further points must be considered while starting such business, such as marketplace, brand name, website, types of consumers, marketing plan, etc.
Steps involved in the E-waste business
There are certain steps involved in the e-waste business. The followings are to be considered some of the main steps:
- Picking or collecting
Picking or collecting the e-waste from one place, some non-recyclable components are removed from it, such as woods, etc.
Shredding involves the breaking down of large parts of the e-waste into smaller ones. Here the components are broken into ten times smaller sizes, and the size is reduced to that extent so that it can be further segregated.
- Magnetic Removal
With the use of magnets, the materials like steel and irons are removed from the e-wastes.
- Metallic and Non-metallic Separation
The metallic and non-metallic materials such as aluminium, brass and copper are separated with the help of eddy currents, optical identification and magnets.
- Separation by water
Plastic and glass, including some other sticky materials, are segregated using water. The e-waste containing lead is sent for cleaning, and the lead so obtained is further used for manufacturing the batteries. Similarly, the plastic that is obtained from e-waste is sent for recycling and manufacturing other plastic products.
Some of the items obtained from these steps are grounded up, melted and used, and some are sold as raw materials for further use.
- The CRT recycling process
The CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube. It is used mostly used in computers. It contains toxic components such as lead that severely impact the environment and human health. Thus, there recycling is very important. The steps involved in recycling a cathode ray tube involve:
- Cathode Ray Tube and Monitor Body Separated: the monitor screen and its other parts are separated from the cathode ray tube for the further recycling process.
- Reducing size: the cathode ray tubes are shredded into small pieces.
- Metal removal: Magnets are used for the removal of steel and iron. Then the eddy currents are used to remove aluminium, brass and copper present in the shredded parts.
- Washing: The remaining small particles, oxides, and phosphates are removed by washing them so that only the glass particles are left.
- Glass sorting: The glass that contains lead is sent to the plant where lead is melted and is further used for manufacturing batteries, and another plain glass is sent for manufacturing screens, etc.
The demand for the e-waste business is growing with the growth in the use of electronic products. The business involves the complete steps related to the e-waste, i.e., from picking or collecting e-waste from different places to recycling them and making them useful in particular cases. The e-waste generation in India is very high, so this business is one of the most profitable businesses. The Government authority grants consent to run and operate such business in India.