Man­ag­ing e-waste

Assocham Bulletin - - ENVIRONMENT -

The global quan­tity of e-waste is ex­pected to touch 49.8 Mt (mil­lion tonnes) by 2018from the cur­rent level of 47.8 mil­lion tonnes, with an an­nual growth rate of 4 to 5 per cent, ac­cord­ing to the AS­SOCHAM-Sofies-Tox­i­c­sLink joint study.

The study pre­dicts that the to­tal amount of e-waste will be ex­pected to in­crease from 47.8 mil­lion tonnes to 49.8 mil­lion tonnes in the year 2018. The top three Asian coun­tries with the high­est e-waste gen­er­a­tion in ab­so­lute quan­ti­ties are China (6.0Mt), Ja­pan (2.2Mt) and In­dia (1.7Mt), re­veals the joint study on 'Re­think­ing Waste- Scal­ing Op­por­tu­nity in In­dia'.

In In­dia, ap­prox­i­mately 1.5% of the to­tal e-waste gen­er­ated is re­cy­cled by for­mal re­cy­clers or in­sti­tu­tional pro­cess­ing and re­cy­cling, and an­other 8% of the e-waste gen­er­ated is ren­dered use­less and goes to land­fills.

The big­gest e-waste re­cy­cling mar­ket in In­dia is in Delhi fol­lowed by Bengaluru and Chen­nai. While the in­for­mal sec­tor's ef­fi­ciency in col­lect­ing e-waste and its con­tri­bu­tion to­wards re­source re­cov­ery are laud­able, var­i­ous health and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues are re­lated to in­for­mal re­cy­cling ac­tiv­i­ties.

E-waste con­tains var­i­ous toxic sub­stances such as mercury, lead, or bromi­nated flamere­tar­dants to name but a few. Upon pro­longed ex­po­sure dur­ing un­safe e-waste re­cy­cling ac­tiv­i­ties, th­ese sub­stances lead to dam­age of al­most all ma­jor body sys­tems (ner­vous sys­tems, blood sys­tems, brain de­vel­op­ment, skin dis­or­ders, lung can­cer, heart, liver, and spleen dam­age). This is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant in the in­for­mal sec­tor, as a con­sid­er­able num­ber of in­for­mal e-waste work­ers do not take any health pre­ven­tive mea­sures.

As per the re­port, about 80% of e-waste work­ers in In­dia suf­fer from res­pi­ra­tory ail­ments like breath­ing dif­fi­cul ties, ir­ri­ta­tion, cough­ing and chok­ing due to im­proper safe­guards. With bare hands and no pro­tec­tive face­masks, work­ers, chil­dren are usu­ally among the most ex­posed to toxic fumes on a daily-ba­sis. Tube­lights, moth­er­boards and toner

car­tridges are burnt on open flames, spew­ing lead, mercury and cad­mium into the air.

Hazardous sub­stances con­tained in the elec­tronic prod­ucts, such as mercury, may be lost if not re­cov­ered prop­erly, and lead to air con­tam­i­na­tion, ground­wa­ter and soil con­tam­i­na­tion. There is thus a dire need to reach out to the work­ers of the in­for­mal sec­tor, to raise aware­ness about the con­se­quence of im­proper e-waste­m­an­age­ment, and to in­clude them as part of the so­lu­tion to e-waste re­lated is­sues. It is es­sen­tial that in­for­mal re­cy­clers be in­cluded in any long term e-waste man­age­ment pol­icy. The leg­is­la­tion to­day cov­ers the role of for­mal re­cy­clers but lacks a def­i­nite frame­work on the role and in­clu­sion of in­for­mal re­cy­clers.

Due to in­ad­e­quate trans­port fa­cil­i­ties and lack­ing work­force, col­lec­tion ef­fi­ciency in the In­dian ci­ties has been in the range of 7073%. In some ci­ties of Ker­ala, it goes down to 10% and in some ci­ties like Mum­bai and Lud­hi­ana it reaches a near per­fect 100% level. Thus on an av­er­age, onethird of the to­tal waste re­mains un­col­lected, de­spite mu­nic­i­pal bod­ies al­lo­cate 85-90% of their to­tal bud­get on col­lec­tion and trans­porta­tion. The un­col­lected waste is of­ten dumped in­dis­crim­i­nately re­sult­ing in choked drains and sew­er­age that serve as a breed­ing ground for pub­lic health epi­demics.

Over 160,000 met­ric tons (MI) of mu­nic­i­pal solid waste is gen­er­ated daily in the coun­try. Per capita waste gen­er­a­tion in ci­ties varies from 0.2 kg to 0.6 kg per day de­pend­ing upon the size of pop­u­la­tion. This is es­ti­mated to in­crease at 1.33%an­nu­ally. The to­tal waste quan­tity gen­er­ated by the year 2047 is es­ti­mated to be about 260mil­lion tons per year. It is es­ti­mated that if the waste is not dis­posed off in a more sys­tem­atic man­ner, more than 1,400sq. Kms. of land, which is equiv­a­lent to the size of city of Delhi, would be re­quired in the coun­try by theyear 2047for its dis­posal.

The In­dian in­dus­trial sec­tor gen­er­ates an es­ti­mated 100 mil­lion tons per year of non­haz­ardous solid wastes, with coal ash from ther­mal power sta­tions ac­count­ing for more than 70 mil­lion tons per year. Over 8 mil­lion tons per year of hazardous waste is gen­er­ated in In­dia. About 60% of th­ese wastes, i.e., 4.8 mil­lion tons per year is es­ti­mated to be re­cy­clable and the re­main­ing 3.2 mil­lion tons per year is non-re­cy­clable.

Mr. San­deep Ja­jo­dia. Pres­i­dent, AS­SOCHAM pre­sent­ing a bou­quet to Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, Pres­i­dent of In­dia at New Delhi. Also seen Mr. D. S. Rewet, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral AS­SOCHAM and Mr. Pawan Da­mani, Head-Project Sales, Mon­net Is­pat.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.