How to manage of E Waste in Delhi?
A non-profit environmental research and advocacy organization in Delhi identified 15 e-waste processing hotspots that operated with impunity and without safeguards.
Over 5,000 illegal e-waste processing units are located in these hotspots, directly and indirectly employing over 50,000 people. The sheer magnitude of environmental violations highlights the system's failure, particularly the E-waste (Management) Rules.
According to the study, many authorized dismantlers and recyclers are selling waste to the informal sector in violation of the law. The CPCB website does not currently provide a list of authorized vendors, as required by the E-waste (Management) Rules. None of the e-waste hotspots in the Delhi-National Capital Region have any kind of official authorization to operate.
According to the study, informal e-waste processors obtain their waste from a variety of stakeholders, with dealers being the single largest source (38 percent). The majority of these processing yards mostly located near the Yamuna River, were involved in a variety of e-waste processing operations such as refurbishing, dismantling, metal recycling, and recovery. These manual, rudimentary, and unrefined operations expose workers and the environment to potentially hazardous contaminants.
The report also emphasizes that the E-waste Rules clearly prohibit the import of e-waste from outside India. Only producers with EPR authorization from the CPCB are permitted to import old equipment or components into India for specific purposes (depending on regulatory agency permissions).
Where are these e-waste stores located?
The National Capital Region's informal e-waste processing units are all housed in shabby and small rooms of residential or unauthorized colonies. They offer no occupational health protection to workers who are exposed to chemical or metallic dusts, vapor, or acidic effluents. Environmental protection measures such as effluent or waste processing were lacking, and waste was dumped in the open, often near drains, increasing the risk of contamination of soil, surface, subsurface, and ground water.
What discovery was made?
The study discovered that while strict enforcement was supposed to change things on the ground, processes and material flow remained unchanged.
For example, most of the operations in these units were discovered to be manual and rudimentary — hammering, open burning, or acid leaching are still used to dismantle or recover hazardous substances.
Almost all of the units were unconcerned about health or the environment. Within and outside the colony, hazardous waste and effluents were discharged or dumped in the open. They may contain brominated flame retardants, lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium compounds, and PVC, all of which have the potential to emit dioxins and furans. They can cause neurotoxicity, reproductive issues, cancer, hormonal changes, and bone and kidney damage if exposed.
E-waste is one of the world's fastest growing waste streams, with India producing more than two million tonnes of this toxic waste each year.
The National Capital Region and Delhi generated around 85,000 metric tonnes (MT) of e-waste, which rose to 150,000 MT by 2020. The informal sector is responsible for the majority of this and may be able to handle it.
How can Netsol Water help?
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