Why Recycle

What is eWaste or electronic Waste?


Electronic waste @ e-waste is a term which refers to unusable, discarded and old, electric & electronic appliances such as refrigerators, LED/LCD/CTV,  microwave oven, washing machines, home air conditioner etc. As per E waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016 e-waste ‘e-waste’ means electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes

E-waste has been categorized into three main categories, i.e., Consumer Electronics/home appliances and IT & Telecom. Refrigerators, washing machines, home air conditioner LED/LCD etc. represent l Consumer Electronics/home appliances.  On the other hand computers, desktop, laptop mobile phones etc. and its component represent Telecom & IT.

E-waste broadly covers waste from all electronic and electrical appliances and contains different hazardous materials which are harmful to human health and the environment if not disposed of carefully. While some naturally occurring substances are harmless in nature, their use in the manufacture of electronic equipment often results in compounds which are hazardous for example chromium becomes chromium VI. Thus Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Govt. of India had listed issued directions for reduction in the use of hazardous substances in the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment and their components or consumables or parts or spares.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Govt. of India in furtherance of its effort to reduce the hazard occurring from rapid growth in the Consumer durable and IT-Telecom market had made rules called as E Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016 under Environment Protection Act.

The Do’s of Electronic Waste Recycling:

  1. Give the discarded Electronic Equipments only at the authorized collection centers so that the same can be properly recycled
  2. Drop the discarded Electronic Equipments only in the bins meant for the Electronic Waste
  3. Ask the retailer about the Take Back schemes
  4. Consult the authorized service center as to whether the Electronic Equipment can be repaired or not, before discarding the same
  5. Tell your neighbors and other persons about the hazards of improper disposal or handling or improper recycling of the Electronic Waste
  6. If the unwanted Electronic Equipment still work or can be repaired then consider donating them

The Don’ts of Electronic Waste Recycling:

  1. Don’t dump the discarded Electronic Equipments in open or in any Land Fill Site as the same will result in contaminating the  Soil and the ground water
  2. Don’t dispose of the discarded Electronic Equipments in household bins or Municipal Bins
  3. Don’t sell or give your discarded Electronic Equipments to any Trash Dealer or Kabadiwala
  4. Recycling Electronic Equipments helps to save natural finite resources and also reduces the environmental and health risks associated with improper handling/disposing the Electronic Waste
  5. To minimize our impact on the earth and to protect the environment for future generations return your discarded Electronic Equipments here for safe recycling:

Why proper handling and management of e-waste is required?

According to MoEF, the electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) have valuable materials and hazardous/toxics substances in their components. The electronic products and electrical equipment after their useful life may not cause any harm if it is stored safely in households/stores. However, if the E-waste is opened-up and attempts are made for retrieval of useful components or material in an un-scientific manner or if the material is disposed in open, then it may cause health risks and damage to environment. E-waste can be considered as a resource that contains useful material of economic benefit for recovery of plastics, iron, glass, aluminum, copper and precious metals such as silver, gold, platinum, and palladium and lead, cadmium, mercury etc. However, at the same time presence of heavy metals (As, Cd, Hg, Pb etc.) and other toxic substances such as polychlorinated bi-phenyls (PCBs), etched chemicals, etc. may pose risk to health and environment during handling and recovery operations. E-waste is a problem of increasing proportions especially when crude methods are adopted for recovery of useful components from E-waste.

Thus, there is a need to encourage recycling of all useful and valuable material from e-waste so as to conserve the ever depleting natural resources. Electronic component are increasingly made from recycled materials, for example for making new LCDs, more than 50% of indium is sourced by recycling used LCDs. The E-waste thus presents a scenario of urban mining for recovery of ferrous/non-ferrous/ rare earth metal and precious metal in addition to plastics and glass. However, presence of hazardous and toxic substances in the component of e-waste necessitates environmentally sound management of e-waste including collection and recycling/treatment in an environmentally sound manner.

Hazards Of Improper Handling And/or Improper Recycling Of Electronic Waste

Electronic equipments contain many hazardous metallic contaminants such as lead, cadmium, and beryllium and brominated flame-retardants. An improper handling and/or improper recycling of the Electronic Waste results in these hazardous metals/substances getting released into our eco and biological system, thereby leading to various health hazards.

Health:-  The informal method of recycling extended health hazards. For example, primary and secondary exposure to toxic metals, such as lead, results generally from open-air burning used to retrieve valuable components such as gold. Incineration from burning e-waste creates fine particulate matter, which is linked to pulmonary and cardiovascular disease.

Environment:- The informal method of recycling extended environment hazards too. For example when different e-waste is burnt to extract metals from it, toxic chemicals are released into the air, damaging the atmosphere.

E-Waste Toxic Components and their Damage to Human Health

Toxic

Materials

Birth

Defects

Brain

Damage

Heart, Liver,

Lung & Spleen

Damage

Kidney

Damage

Nervous/

Reproductive

System Damage

Skeletal

System

Damage

 Barium

Cadmium

Lead

Lithium

Mercury

Nickel

Palladium

Rhodium

Silver

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

X

X

Without safe recycling, most of these toxic components will end up in land fill – poisoning the soil and water

Management and Effect on sustainable future:-

Sustainable development as defined by Brundtland Commission is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The e-waste since a long time had been seen as an easy and cheapest source of metals. However due to lack of proper consideration for such source of metals as well as proper methods of recycling in India, we sent our e-waste to the improper channel and thereby participated in degrading the environment. Moreover, through this improper method of extraction of metals we till date had wasted at least forty percent of the precious metals and simultaneously caused damage to our environment. If we opt the proper way to extract metals through proper channel of recycling then we can achieve Ninety percent of extraction rate of our metals as well as a better way to save our environment. However, if today while selling off our material to improper channel we will not think about our sustainable future then it is for sure that the coming generations will be facing crisis of the metals.