Need better collection mechanism for e-waste: Industry

Need better collection mechanism for e-waste: Industry Img/2012/5/1/bin-275.jpg New Delhi: Electronics industry today said collection mechanism will need to be strengthened to make the new e-waste management rules effective.

The e-waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011, which were notified in May last year, have come into effect from today and people will be now be required to dispose of their discarded electronic items through designated centres.

The rules aim to reduce the use of hazardous substances in electronic equipment by specifying threshold for use of material including lead, mercury and cadmium.

"The industry welcomes the move. The consumption of electronic items is increasing substantially and disposal of e-waste is a critical issue for the country. The new rules will help promote discarding of e-waste in a responsible manner," an Electronic Industries Association of India (ELCINA) official said.

However, industry officials said the lack of clarity on collection of e-waste from consumers could pose as a problem.

"Traditionally, consumers have sold off their old electronic items to `kabadiwallas`. It is therefore important that this parallel unorganised segment is included in the ecosystem as they can help in effective collection of e-Waste," Manufacturers Association for IT Executive Director Sabyasachi Patra said.
The new rules were notified in advance to give stakeholders sufficient time to prepare themselves and also to put in place the required infrastructure.

The rules apply to every producer, consumer, collection centre, dismantler and recycler of e-waste involved in the manufacture, sale, purchase and processing of electronic equipment or components.

The rules seek to put the onus largely on manufacturers, who are supposed to pick up the items and set up collection centres as well.

Presently, e-waste recycling is done in the scrap market in an unorganised and hazardous manner, often resulting in leaching of heavy metals in the ground and water.
Recyclers, therefore, are set to benefit from the rules.

"The rules will make businesses like us start getting volumes and will start a process of compliance," A2Z Dataserv Managing Director Amit Sardana said.