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Understanding E- Waste Management in India

E- Waste Management in India

The Central Government in exercise of its powers under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 had enacted the E- Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011 which came into force on May 1, 2012.

However, in order to ensure effective implementation of the Rules and to clearly delineate the role of producers under the Extended Producer Responsibility, and the role of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, the Indian Government notified the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 vide notification dated March 23, 2016 in suppression of old Rules 2011, which came into effect from October 1, 2016[1].

These rules are applicable to every manufacturer, producer, consumer or bulk consumer, collection centre, dismantler and recycler of e-waste involved in the manufacture, sale, purchase, collection, storage and processing of electrical and electronic equipment or components specified in schedule – I of these Rules.

Two categories of electrical and electronic equipment namely: (i) IT and Telecommunication Equipment and (ii) Consumer Electricals and Electronics such as TVs, Washing Machines, Refrigerators Air Conditioners including fluorescent and other mercury containing lamps are covered under these Rules.

The main feature of these rules is the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Target based approach for implementation of EPR as specified in Schedule- III of the rules has been adopted in the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, which stipulates phase wise collection target to producers for the collection of e-waste, either in number or weight, which shall be 30% of the estimated quantity of waste generation during first two year of implementation of rules followed by 40% during 3rd and 4th years, 50% during 5th  and 6th years and 70% during seventh year onwards.

The E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 have also mandated that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) must prepare guidelines for the implementation of these Rules, which includes specific guidelines for extended producer responsibility, channelization, collection centres, storage, transportation, environmentally sound dismantling and recycling, refurbishment, and random sampling of EEE for testing of Reduction of Hazardous Substances parameters. These guidelines can be found here.

[1] http://www.moef.gov.in/sites/default/files/EWM%20Rules%202016%20english%2023.03.2016.pdf

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To know more about Environmental Laws in India, click on the link below:

Environment laws in India

E-Waste Management in India

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