Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Increase in E-waste Generation in the Country

Based on a survey carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), it is estimated that 1.47 lakh Metric Tons (MT) of e-waste was generated in the country in the year 2005, which is expected to increase to about 8.00 lakh MT by 2012. The Minister of state (I/C) for Environment and Forests Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan stated this in Rajya Sabha today. 

The Minister further said that the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has notified the Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008. Import and export of e-waste are regulated as per these rules. Import of such wastes for disposal is not permitted. Import is permitted only for recycling or recovery or reuse with the permission of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and/or Directorate General of Foreign Trade. Permission for import and export of e-waste can be considered only by those recycling units, which have environmentally sound recycling facilities and are registered with State Pollution Control Board/ Pollution Control Committee concerned. 

She stated that the Ministry of Environment and Forests has taken a number of steps to ensure environmentally sound management of e-waste in the country. These include: 

(i) For effective implementation of provisions related to import and export, a co-ordination committee including representatives from the Ministry of Finance (Department. of Revenue), the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (DGFT), the Ministry of Shipping (Department. of Ports), the Central Pollution Control Board and select State Pollution Control Boards has been constituted. This committee has been working to sensitize the Customs authorities regarding enforcement of these Rules in order to check illegal import of E-waste into the country. 

(ii) Separate E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 have been notified on 12th May, 2011. These Rules have come in to effect from 1st May 2012. The concept of Extended Producer Responsibility has been enshrined in these rules to make it a mandatory activity for the manufacturers of electronic and electrical equipments. Under this the producers are responsible for collection of e-waste generated from the end of life of their products by setting up collection centers or take back systems either individually or collectively. 

(iii) As per these Rules, E-waste recycling can be undertaken only in facilities authorized and registered with State Pollution Control Boards/Pollution Control Committees. Waste generated is required to be sent or sold to a registered or authorized recycler or re-processor having environmentally sound facilities. 

(iv) The Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of e-waste, published by Central Pollution Control Board, provide approach and methodology for environmentally sound management of e-waste. 

(v) The Ministry is implementing a Scheme to provide financial assistance for setting up of treatment, disposal and storage facility for hazardous and integrated recycling facilities for E-waste on public private partnership mode. 

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