IT’s underbelly

India produces about 400,000 tonnes of electronic waste each year, growing exponentially. Handling this is a great challenge. What adds to it is the fact that the country is one of the lead importers of all kinds of waste—hazardous included. Almost all of this is recycled or scrapped by the unorganized sector using the most rudimentary methods that pollute. Our reporters found a thriving ‘illegal’ trade and dangerous working conditions. The environment ministry’s answer has been to grant its first and only licence to import e-waste to a company called Attero Recycling—to encourage its Roorkee plant, which it calls a model. Our reporters found Attero reselling  e-waste instead of recycling it. The ministry’s regulatory attempts do not recognize the small players who actually  recycle e-waste, found out  Ruhi Kandhari, Jyotika Sood and photographer Sayantan Bera

IT’s underbelly

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  • I understand that setting

    I understand that setting targets for E-waste might help matters but there are still a lot of basic issues which have to be dealt with first. Producers face lots of issues with authorization and there is a lot of support needed from the Pollution Control Boards as well. In the current scenario, no matter what picture is painted, the PCBs do not have the capacity or structure in place themselves to provide a proper path-way and are not able to provide that support.

    Also, the E-waste Recycling centers might not be operating at their full capacity but the other side of the coin says that there is a lot of 'reverse flow' of material which happens to the informal sector and there are a lot of leakages even in the supposedly safe and secure channels for flow of E-waste.

    But yes, Producers need to invest more effort towards awareness raising activities about E-waste as well- something which is lacking as of now. Consumers are hardly aware where to dispose their E-waste and mostly they don't even know what E-waste is.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
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