E-Waste Management

What is E-waste?
E-waste or Electronic waste is defined in E-waste management and handling rules 2011. Some of the personal/house hold items classified as E-waste (when these are being discarded) are listed below:

  • Personal Computers (including all input and output devices)
  • Laptop Computers (including all input and output devices)
  • Notebook/ Notepad/ Tablet computers
  • Printers including cartridges
  • Copying equipment
  • Electrical and electronic typewriters
  • User terminals and systems
  • Facsimile
  • Telex/Telephone/Pay telephones/cordless telephones
  • Cellular phones
  • Answering System
  • Mux/hubs/routers
  • Television sets (including sets based on liquid crystal display –LCD & Light Emitting Diode –LED Technology)
  • Refrigerators
  • Washing Machines
  • Microwave Ovens
  • Air-Conditioners

Hazards due to improper disposal of E-waste
Improper disposal of E-waste results into accumulation of harmful chemicals in soil, water and food. Primitive recycling techniques like dismantling & burning of cables and printed circuit boards (PCB) for extraction of Copper & Gold expose workers to range of hazardous substances due to direct contact with harmful material and toxic fumes. Children are more vulnerable to health risks when exposed to E-waste.

Therefore, it is important for us to ensure that E-waste is disposed as per defined guidelines and rules.

How to dispose E-waste?
As per E-waste management and handling rules 2011, ‘Responsibilities of Producers’ towards safe disposal of E-waste have been notified by Govt. of India. In addition to many other things, it also includes setting up collection centres to re-collect its products after ‘end of life’ and establishing systems for environmentally sound management of E-waste. Many manufacturers have already established such collection centres across India.

In addition, there are units registered with Ministry of Environment and Forest /Central Pollution Control Board as recyclers/re-processors having environmentally sound management facilities for E-waste.

As a consumer and end user of electronic gadgets, one is required to dispose E-waste only through these collection centres/ recycler/re-processors.

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