As per the study, India is likely to generate e-waste to an extent of 15 Lakh metric tonnes (MT) per annum by 2015 from the current level 12.5 Lakh MT per annum growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 25%.
India?s produces nearly
12.5 Lakhs MT of electronic waste every year. Mumbai (96,000) tops
the list in generating e-waste followed Delhi-NCR (67,000) and
Bangalore (57,000) says the ASSOCHAM paper. Chennai, Kolkata,
Ahemdabad, Hyderabad and Pune find a place in the ladder, at 47,000,
35,000, 26,000, 25,000 and 19,000 metric tonnes per year
respectively, reveals the study.
Computer equipment accounts for almost 68% of e-waste material followed by telecommunication equipment (12%), electrical equipment (8%) and medical equipment (7%). Other equipment, including household e-crap account for the remaining 5%, it said.
"E-waste typically includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT), Printed Circuit Board (PCB), mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, white goods such as Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD)/ Plasma televisions, air conditioners, refrigerators and so on. With increasing use of these in our everyday life, e-waste is also piling up. Almost half of all unused and end-of-life electronic products lie idle in landfills, junkyards and warehouses", it said.
Rawat said, "e-waste is directly linked to the economic growth of
the country and also overall consumer spending pattern. India?s
economic growth has lifted millions of people from lower-income group
to middle and high-income groups and increased purchasing power".
More than 70 per cent of e-waste contributors are government, public and private industries, while household waste contributes about 15 per cent. Televisions, refrigerators and washing machines make up the majority of e-waste, while computers account for another 20 per cent and mobile phones 2 per cent, adds the report.
"Domestic e-waste including computer, TV, mobiles and refrigerators contain over 1,000 toxic material, which contaminate soil and ground water. Exposure can cause headache, irritability, nausea, vomiting and eyes pain. Recyclers may suffer liver, kidney and neurological disorders", said Dr. B K Rao, Chairman of Assocham Health committee while releasing the paper.
The recyclers are not fully aware of the health risks. ''These products have components that contain toxic substances like lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, plastic, PVC, BFRs, barium, beryllium, and carcinogens like carbon black and heavy metals. This deadly mix can cause severe health problems in those handling the waste,'' adds Dr. Rao. Printed circuit boards, for instance, contain heavy metals like antimony, gold, silver, chromium, zinc, lead, tin and copper. The method of extracting these materials from circuit boards is highly hazardous and involves heating the metals in the open.
"Issues relating to poor sensitisation
about this sector, low organized recycling, cross-border flow of
waste equipment into India, limited reach out and awareness regarding
disposal, after determining end of useful life, and lack of
coordination between various authorities responsible for e-waste
management and disposal including the non-involvement of
municipalities in e-waste management", said Mr. Rawat.
However most of these products can be recycled, refurbished and redeployed going down the value chain and reused by a bit of reconstruction process, reducing overall impact on the environment, he said.