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Dumping of Waste

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Electronics industry is the world’s biggest and swiftest growing industry. The past decade has seen a remarkable growth in the manufacturing and consumption of electronic and electrical equipments all over the world. As an outcome of this growth, combined with quick product obsolescence and lower costs, discarded electronic and electrical equipment or ‘e-waste’ is now the most rapidly growing waste problem in the world. This is due to consumers hunger race, which has lead to amplified rates of utilization of electronic products.

UN University’s ‘Solving the E-waste Problem’ (StEP) initiative which highlights the E-waste situation across the world forecasts “By 2017, all of that year’s end-of-life refrigerators, TVs, mobile phones, computers, monitors, e-toys and other products with a battery or electrical cord worldwide could fill a line of 40-ton trucks end-to-end on a highway straddling three quarters of the Equator”.

The waste generated by the nation is no longer the only waste that a country deals with but also the waste dumped by other nations. This is acknowledged as ecological dumping of waste by nations. Therefore the country not only has to manage its own waste but also the import of waste.

The Basel Action Network (BAN) and Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) released the report Exporting Harm: The High-Tech Trashing of Asia with the assistance of participating organizations in February 2002. This report revealed the millions of pounds of electronic waste being exported to developing nations by the developed countries to prevent the escalating mountains of e-waste in their countries. Despite the existence of Basel Convention, designed for prevention of toxic waste exportation from rich to poorer countries, the toxic trade continues at a rampant scale for economic pressures and incentives to export. The waste is often dumped by developed nations to developing nations. This is done because the disposal of waste to another country is cheaper then dumping into their country since the developed nations have a stringent rules regarding waste disposal

India located in Asia, a developing country, is emerging as a significant generator of E-waste in its own right. In India, the current estimate projects 2.7 million tons of E-waste generation annually. The ICT sector accounts for 34 per cent of this . The Rajya Sabha (2011) observed that there are 10 States that contribute to 70 per cent of the total E-waste generated in the country, while 65 cities generate more than 60 per cent of the total E-waste. But it’s not only the high internal quantity of discarded electronics, the import of e-waste adds more to the anguish of this increasing waste stream.


Statement of the problem and need for study.

India is experiencing rapidly increasing rates of consumption of electrical and electronic products. This, accompanied with high obsolescence rates, has led to higher rates of E waste generation. E-waste handling is a problem of increasing proportion, especially when crude methods are adopted for recovery of useful components from it. India's growing e-waste problem is not enough that recyclers are importing it from developed nations to run their recycling units smoothly. India has become a dumping yard for developed nation to dump their waste. This has a negative effect on the population, as these wastes are not disposed of safely as well as environmental pollution.

Import of e-waste is restricted in India and one needs government permission to import it. Nevertheless, a MAIT-GTZ study has found that companies illegally import 50,000 metric tonne into the country mainly through mis-declarations.

There needs to be more light on the trade of hazardous waste. Status of E-waste Recycling According to the 2007 MAIT-GTZ study titled ‘E-waste Assessment in India’—a quantitative assessment on the generation, disposal and recycling of electronic waste in India’, in the informal sector, only about 5% of E-waste reaches authorized recyclers. The remaining 95% is either processed by unauthorized recyclers (informal sector) or is resold, or refurbished and resold, or recycled in an unhygienic and unsafe manner in many remote parts of our country.

The unorganized sector is not equipped enough to handle the hazardous waste while dismantling or recycling the e-waste. Generally the recycling is done in their own backyard. If there is immediate attention brought on this subject there can be proper channeling of e-waste done and stricter inspection of the e-waste that is coming illegally into India. This sector of recycling can be a flourishing sector in india if the e waste is recycled properly and the rules and regulations are effectively applied.


Electronic waste, "e-waste" or "Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment" ("WEEE") is waste material consisting of any broken, surplus or obsolete gadgets run by electricity.

As per the CPCB Guidelines 2008, e-waste is defined as waste generated from used electronic devices and household appliances, which are not fit for their originally intended use and are destined for recovery, recycling and disposal. According to WEEE Directive, the components in WEEE are:

- IT & Telecom Equipment                        - Large Household Appliances



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