Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) is likely to generate about 1,50,000 metric tonnes (MT) of e-waste per annum by 2020 from the current level of 85,000 metric tonnes, according to industry body Assocham. E-waste is expected to be generated at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 25 per cent in the Delhi-NCR region, the industry body said. The chamber attributed factors like low organised recycling, cross-border flow of waste equipment into the country, limited reach out and awareness regarding disposal, and lack of coordination between various authorities for non-involvement of municipalities in E-waste management. “Less than 1.5 per cent of India’s total electronic waste gets recycled due to absence of proper infrastructure, legislation and framework. The country produced approximately 2.5 million metric tonnes of e-waste in 2017,” Assocham said. The e-waste products have components that contain toxic substances like lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, plastic, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), BFRs (brominated flame retardants), barium, beryllium, and carcinogens like carbon black and heavy metals. This deadly mix can cause severe health problems in those handling the waste. “Looking at the country-wise share in India’s e-waste imports, US has a maximum share of around 42 per cent, China at around 30 per cent followed by Europe at around 18 per cent and the remaining 10 per cent is from other countries like Taiwan, South Korea, Japan etc,” Assocham said in a statement.
Computer equipment accounts for almost 68 per cent of e-waste followed by telecommunication equipment (12 per cent), electrical equipment (8 per cent) and medical equipment (7 per cent). Other equipment, including household e-scrap, accounts for the remaining 5 per cent, the chamber said. It said that as many as 12,500 mobile handsets, 8,500 TV sets and 5,500 personal computers are dismantled in the city every day for re-use of their component parts and materials as these products are getting more affordable and more and more people are using them.
E-waste typically includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, cathode ray tubes, printed circuit board, mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, white goods such as liquid crystal display/plasma televisions, air conditioners, refrigerators, among others. “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,” the chamber said.