Published on January 20, 2014
Management of E-WASTE in India Created By: Vivek Dabas-Electro-(1303063) Bushra Noor-BMS-(1301048) Parth Mittal-FT (1304053) Shashi Jangra-CS-(1302076)
Contents: Introduction o What is E-Waste? o Composition of E-Waste. o Sources of E-waste. Environmental impacts of E-Waste. E-Waste in India. Generation. Management of E-Wastes. Inventory management. Production-process modification. Volume reduction. Recovery, Recycle and Reuse. o Consumer awareness efforts o Govt. Polices. o o o o Responsibilities. Government. Industries. Citizens. Conclusion.
Introduction : In the 20th Century, the information and communication revolution has brought enormous changes in the way we organize our lives, our economies, industries and institutions. These spectacular developments in modern times have undoubtedly enhanced the quality of our lives. At the same time, these have led to manifold problems including the problem of massive amount of hazardous waste and other wastes generated from electric products.
What is E-Waste? It stands for electronic waste. All used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, recycling or disposal. It comprises a whole range of electrical and electronic items which are used for a long time and then destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal.
Composition of E-Waste. E-waste consists of all waste from electronic and electrical appliances which have reached their end-of-life period or are no longer fit for their original intended use and are destined for recovery, recycling or disposal. The composition of e-waste is diverse and falls under „hazardous‟ and „non-hazardous‟ categories. Broadly, it consists of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, glass, wood and plywood, printed circuit boards, concrete, ceramics, rubber and other items. Iron and steel constitute about 50% of the waste, followed by plastics (21%), non-ferrous metals (13%) and other constituents. Non-ferrous metals consist of metals like copper, aluminum and precious metals like silver, gold, platinum, palladium and so on. The presence of elements like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, selenium, hexavalent chromium, and flame retardants beyond threshold quantities make e-waste hazardous in nature.
Sources of E-waste. The major part of E-Waste consists of: IT & Telecom Equipments: Mobile phones, computer and its accessoriesmonitors, printers, keyboards, CPUs, compact discs, headphones, batteries etc. Household Appliances: LCD/Plasma TVs, remotes, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines etc. Other than above mentioned items, Vehicles, Electrical or Electronic Tools, toys and sports equipment, consumer & lightening equipments and medical devices also contribute to the EWastes.
Environmental impacts of E-Waste : Electronic wastes cause environmental damage due to the use of toxic materials. Substance Danger Lead It affects the kidneys and the reproductive system. Mechanical breaking of CRTs and removing solder from microchips release lead as powder and fumes. Plastics Found in circuit boards, cabinets and cables, It can harm immune systems. Beryllium Found in switch boards and printed circuit boards and can cause lung diseases. Mercury Affects the central nervous system, kidneys and immune system. It is released while breaking and burning of circuit boards and switches. Cadmium Long-term exposure causes Itai-itai disease, which causes severe pain in the joints and spine. It affects the kidneys and softens bones. Cadmium is released into the environment as powder while crushing and milling of plastics, CRTs and circuit boards. Chromium Used to protect metal housings and plates in a computer from corrosion. Inhaling hexavalent chromium or chromium 6 can damage liver and kidneys and cause bronchial maladies including asthmatic bronchitis and lung cancer. Acids Sulphuric and hydrochloric acids are used to separate metals from circuit boards. Fumes contain chlorine and sulphur dioxide, which cause respiratory problems. They are corrosive to the eye and skin.
E-Waste in India. All over the world, the quantity of electrical and electronic waste generated each year, especially computers and televisions, has assumed alarming proportions. In 2006, the International Association of Electronics Recyclers (IAER) projected that 3 billion electronic and electrical appliances would become e-waste by 2010. That would tantamount to an average e-waste generation rate of 400 million units a year till 2010.
Generation Of E-Wastes. There are 10 States that contribute to 70 % of the total e-waste generated in the country, while 65 cities generate more than 60 % of the total ewaste in India. Among the 10 largest e-waste generating States, Maharashtra ranks first followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Among the top ten cities generating e-waste, Mumbai ranks first followed by Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat and Nagpur.
Management Of E-Wastes. In industries management of e-waste should begin at the point of generation. Waste minimization in industries involves adopting : Inventory management. Production-process modification. Volume reduction. Recovery, Recycle and Reuse. Consumer awareness efforts. Inventory management Proper control over the materials used in the manufacturing process is an important way to reduce waste generation . By reducing both the quantity of hazardous materials used in the process and the amount of excess raw materials in stock, the quantity of waste generated can be reduced. This can be done in two ways : In the approval process all production materials are evaluated to examine if they contain hazardous constituents and whether alternative non-hazardous materials are available. Purchase procedures must be implemented which ensure that materials are ordered only on an as-needed basis and that only the amount needed for a specific period of time is ordered.
Production-Process Modification Changes can be made in the production process, which will reduce waste generation. This reduction can be accomplished by changing the materials used to make the product or by the more efficient use of input materials in the production process or both. Potential waste minimization techniques can be broken down into two categories: i) Improved operating and maintenance procedures : Improvements in the operation and maintenance of process equipment can result in significant waste reduction. An “employee-training program” is a key element of any waste reduction program. Training should include correct operating and handling procedures, proper equipment use, recommended maintenance and inspection schedules, correct process control specifications and proper management of waste materials. ii) Material change : Hazardous materials used in either a product formulation or a production process may be replaced with a less hazardous or non-hazardous material.
Volume reduction Volume reduction includes those techniques that remove the hazardous portion of a waste from a non-hazardous portion. These techniques are usually to reduce the volume, and thus the cost of disposing of a waste material. The techniques that can be used to reduce waste-stream volume can be divided into 2 general categories: source segregation and waste concentration. Segregation of wastes is in many cases a simple and economical technique for waste reduction. Wastes containing different types of metals can be treated separately so that the metal value in the sludge can be recovered. Concentration of a waste stream may increase the likelihood that the material can be recycled or reused. Methods include gravity and vacuum filtration, ultra filtration, reverse osmosis, freeze vaporization etc. For e.g. an electronic component manufacturer can use compaction equipments to reduce volume of waste cathode ray-tube.
Recovery, Recycle & Reuse This technique could eliminate waste disposal costs, reduce raw material costs and provide income from a salable waste. Waste can be recovered on-site, or at an off-site recovery facility, or through inter industry exchange. A number of physical and chemical techniques are available to reclaim a waste material such as reverse osmosis, electrolysis, condensation, electrolytic recovery, filtration, centrifugation etc. Computer monitors are typically packed into low stacks on wooden pallets for recycling and then shrink-wrapped. Audio-visual components, televisions, VCRs, stereo equipment, mobile phones, other handheld devices, and computer components contain valuable elements like lead, copper, and gold. One of the major challenges is recycling the printed circuit boards from the electronic wastes. The circuit boards contain such precious metals as gold, silver, platinum, etc. One way e-waste is processed is by melting circuit boards, burning cable sheathing to recover copper wire and open- pit acid leaching for separating metals of value. Conventional method employed is mechanical shredding and separation but the recycling efficiency is low.
Consumer Awareness Efforts Best Buy: Best Buy accepts electronic items for recycling, even if they were not purchased at Best Buy. Staples: Staples also accepts electronic items for recycling at no additional cost. They also accept ink and printer toner cartridges. AddressTheMess.com: is a Pro-social campaign that seeks to increase awareness of the dangers of e-waste and to encourage recycling. Partners in the effort include Earth911.com, ECOInternational.com, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Electronics TakeBack Coalition : is a campaign aimed at protecting human health and limiting environmental effects where electronics are being produced, used, and discarded. “Take Back My TV” is a project of ETBC and grades television manufacturers to find out which are responsible and which are not.
The World Reuse, Repair, and Recycling Association (wr3a.org) : is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of exported electronics, encouraging better recycling standards in importing countries, and improving practices through "Fair Trade" principles. E-Cycling Central : is a website from the Electronic Industry Alliance which allows you to search for electronic recycling programs in your state. It lists different recyclers by state to find reuse, recycle, or find donation programs across the country. StEP : ( Solving the E-Waste Problem ) : an initiative founded by various UN organizations to develop strategies to solve the e-waste problem, follows its activities and programs.
GOVERNMENT POLICIES The government has taken the following steps/actions for management of e-wastes : Several Workshops on Electronic Waste Management was organized by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in collaboration with Toxics Link, CII etc. Action has been initiated by CPCB for rapid assessment of the E-Waste generated in major cities of the country. A National Working Group has been constituted for formulating a strategy for EWaste management. A comprehensive technical guide on "Environmental Management for Information Technology Industry in India" has been published and circulated widely by the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. Demonstration projects has also been set up by the DIT at the Indian Telephone Industries for recovery of copper from Printed Circuit Boards.
Responsibilites As we saw that the management of e-waste is not an easy task. It requires a lot of time and money to manage such huge amount of e-waste. So there must be some responsibilities of the Govt as well as industries and the citizens itself to solve out the problem.
Conclusion : Solid waste management, which is already a mammoth task in India, is becoming more complicated by the invasion of e-waste, particularly computer waste. There exists an urgent need for a detailed assessment of the current and future scenario including quantification, characteristics, existing disposal practices, environmental impacts etc. Institutional infrastructures, including ewaste collection, transportation, treatment, storage, recovery and disposal, need to be established, at national and/or regional levels for the environmentally sound management of e-wastes. Establishment of e-waste collection, exchange and recycling centers should be encouraged in partnership with private entrepreneurs and manufacturers. An effective take-back program providing incentives for producers to design products that are less wasteful, contain fewer toxic components, and are easier to disassemble, reuse, and recycle may help in reducing the wastes so that we can make our earth a beautiful planet again !
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