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| Last Updated:: 24/03/2016

Centre notifies new stringent rules to manage e-waste








Waking up to the challenge of managing hazardous e-waste, the Centre on Wednesday notified new rules to dismantle and recycle all electrical and electronic waste in the country by expanding its ambit and introducing a clause of penalty for violators.

The new rule — E-waste Management Rules, 2016 — has, for the first time, brought in its ambit the management of the waste of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and other mercury-containing lamps. It also for the first time put the onus of collecting the e-waste on producers/manufacturers by introducing an "extended producer responsibility" clause in it.

Under the new rules, it would be the responsibility of the producers/manufacturers to ensure collection of e-waste, as well as its disposal in an environmentally sound manner.

At present, India generates 1.7 million tonnes of e-waste every year but the country can scientifically recycle only one-fourth of it, leaving the rest of it in hazardous manners that severely pollutes land and water.

Role of state governments has also been introduced under new rules to ensure safety, health and skill development of the workers involved in dismantling and recycling operations.

Under the new rules, consumers of electronic/electric items (smart phones, laptops, TV, washing machines, microwave ovens, airconditioners etc) will get incentive for handing over the e-waste to retailers or dealers under a newly introduced "deposit refund scheme".

Announcing the notification of the rules, Union environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar said, "The norms have been made more stringent and reflect the government's commitment to environmental governance."

He said that the process of dismantling and recycling has been simplified through uniform of authorization. It would be the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) that will give the single authorization throughout the country, the minister added.


Under the new rules, the dealer, if given the responsibility of collection on behalf of the manufacturers/producers, will need to collect e-waste by providing the consumer a box and channelise it to the producer for sending it to authorised dismantling centres.


At present, bulk of the e-waste is managed in a very unscientific manner, involving manual handling for breaking and extraction through rudimentary methods of burning and using chemical solution. Once the valuable items are recovered, remaining materials of e-waste is thrown in rivers, drains or disposed off in solid waste dumps.



Javadekar said, "The new rules have provisions of scientific methods of dismantling the e-waste so that it does not affect the natural resources (soil and water) and human health."



While the respective state pollution control boards (SPCBs) will be responsible for implementing the rules for managing e-waste in states by keeping eye on producers, manufacturers, dealers and retailers, the urban local bodies will be assigned to "collect and channelize the orphan products to authorized dismantler or recycler" from the residential areas.





Source: The Times of India