Electronic waste or e-waste comprises old and discarded electronic appliances including computers, televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, mobile phones etc. With the growing dependency on technology, the consumption of electronic devices are on the rise more than before. But, one must know that all these devices come with a standard shelf life decided by the manufacturers so the e-waste must be discarded in scientific manner only as it contains several toxic additives like mercury, chlorofluorocarbons, brominated flame retardants.
Recently, India has emerged as the third largest contributor of E-waste generated across the globe with 6% contribution of total e-waste generation. In order to deal with this menace, the electronic waste management rules are put in place which are quarterly checked by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). E-waste(Management) amendment Rules, 2018 was enacted in 2017 which mandated that only authorised dismantlers and recyclers should collect e-waste.
E-waste is categorised into 21 types but broadly classified into Information technology & communication equipment and Consumer electrical and electronics. As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generated more than 10 lakh tonnes of e-waste in 2019-20. Whereas in 2018-19, around 7 lakh tonnes of e-waste was generated but the dismantling capacity has not been increased since 2017-18. The Ministry of Environment had told NGT in 2018 that around 95% of the e-waste in the country is recycled by the unskilled labour of the informal sector. Following which, NGT has issued directions to the state pollution control boards/ Pollution control Committees to identify the hotspots in coordination with district administration for public safety and protection of the environment.
Data provided by J&K PCC
Jammu Links News acquired data on e-waste generation from Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee (J&K PCC) for year 2019-20. As per the department, around 13,602 metric tonnes of electronic waste was estimated to be generated in Jammu and Kashmir as per CPCB Thumb Rule for calculation in which the IT & CE equipment amount to 7849.91 metric tonnes i.e., whereas consumer electrical and electronics amounted to 5752.647 metric tonnes. The former contributes 57.70% and latter contributes 42.20% to the total electronic waste. The department received annual reports for 2019-20 from only 50 bulk consumers under Rule 9(4) of E-waste management Rules, 2016 due to COVID-19 pandemic. The collection data has been compiled from respective Producer Responsibility Organisations/authorised dismantlers. Around 87182.49 kg e-waste was collected during FY 2019-20 which has shown considerable improvement from the previous five years.
Anuradha, Scientist, JKPCC Jammu said, “Although Extended Producer Responsibility(EPR) requires producers to establish e-waste collection facilities for safe disposal in environmentally sound manner yet we need to find out that producers do not follow these rules responsibly. I believe producers need to create mass awareness and consumers also need to dispose of electronic devices responsibly with stress on reuse and refurbishment.”
She added, “JKPCC keeps notifying citizens through various newspapers regarding the prohibition on the informal trading of e-waste collection by scrap dealers. People are informed that only authorised collection points can collect or dismantle E-waste scrap and violations by any scrap dealer shall be dealt strictly by PCC.”
For individual consumers, Suresh Chugh, PCC Chairman had earlier launched an E-waste collection van to aware citizens regarding electronic waste collection and its harmful effects on the environment.
One can contact collection centres namely VRG Group near J&K SICOP Gangyal, Jammu or Karl-Sambhav Pvt. Ltd. near CRPF Gangyal, Jammu or Reverse Logistics (RLG) India Pvt. Ltd., Transport Nagar, Narwal Jammu to handover e-waste generated in their households.
Also visit: http://jkspcb.nic.in/index.aspx for more information on e-waste and various other collection points in Jammu and Kashmir.
Let’s take a pledge to act responsibly and discard e-waste only at collection points.