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Q. What is E-waste?

‘E-waste’ means electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes.

Q. What is the quantity of e-waste generated in India?

The total generation of e-waste in India in 2016 was to the tune of 18 lakh metric tonnes by some estimates. It is likely to reach 52 lakh metrics tonnes by 2020 growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 30%.

Q. How much e-waste is generated globally?

According to UN studies, in 2016, 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste were generated, in which 40.7% of world e-waste was generated in Asia.

Q. Is E-waste hazardous in nature?

Yes, E-waste is hazardous in nature due to the presence of toxic substances in the product.

Q. What are the hazardous chemicals found in e-waste?

The hazardous constituents in e-waste are heavy metals like lead, cadmium and mercury, polychlorinated-bi-phenyl (PCB), brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and chromium (VI).

Q. What are the health hazards caused by e-waste?

E-waste can be hazardous, when it is disposed and treated in environmentally unsound manner. Direct contact of the harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and exposure to toxic fumes may cause serious health hazards. Furthermore, recycling activities such as dismantling of electrical equipment without the use of Personal Protective Equipment as specified by the E-waste Management rules, 2016 may potentially bear an increased risk of injury.

Q. What are the environmental hazards caused by e-waste?

Accumulation of toxic substances by improper recycling methods may cause serious environmental problems. Toxic chemicals and heavy metals leaching into soil and water may cause pollution, while Toxic fumes reach in to the environment and cause air pollution.

Q. When were E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016 notified?

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the E-Waste Management Rules, in March, 2016 in supersession of the e-waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011. The rules became effective from 1st of October, 2016 one the guidelines to the rules were published.

Q. What are the categories of e-waste under E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016?

There are 2 categories covered in schedule-I of E-waste Management Rules, 2016:
Information technology and telecommunication equipment:

Centralised data processing: Mainframes, Minicomputers, Personal Computing: Personal and laptop Computers, Notebook, Notepad, (Central Processing Unit with input and output devices), Printers including cartridges, Copying equipment, Electrical and electronic typewriters, User terminals and systems, Facsimile, Telex, Telephones, Pay telephones, cordless telephones, Cellular telephones, Answering systems

Consumer electrical and electronics:

Television sets (including sets based on (Liquid Crystal Display and Light Emitting Diode technology), Refrigerator, Washing Machine, Air-conditioners excluding centralised air conditioning plants, Fluorescent and other Mercury containing lamps

Q. What is EPR?

‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ (EPR) means responsibility of any producer of electrical or electronic equipment, for channelisation of e-waste to ensure environmentally sound management of such waste. Extended Producer Responsibility may comprise of implementing take back system or setting up of collection centres or both and having agreed arrangements with authorised dismantler or recycler either individually or collectively through a Producer Responsibility Organisation recognised by producer or producers in their Extended Producer Responsibility – Authorisation.