If you're planning to dump your old TV set or personal computer somewhere, beware. For, if the Centre has its way, there will soon be new regulation that will make dumping electronic waste an offence. Also in the offing are a set of guidelines to regulate e-waste recycling and check its adverse impact on environment and health.
In the absence of any specific law to deal with the issue, around 50,000 to 70,000 tonnes of e-waste enters India every year from the West. India's e-waste generation is also rising at an alarming rate, with estimates for 2005 at 1.46 lakh tonnes, a figure expected to rise to 8 lakh tonnes by 2012.
Delhi's Shahdara is already the biggest e-waste dump in India, while the national capital itself is the second largest generator of e-waste after Mumbai, a 2006 government report said.
With India fast turning into a global hub for recycling e-waste, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has come up with draft guidelines to include electronic waste as a specific category in the Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2003 and Municipal Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000.
A senior ministry official said the changes would make dumping e-waste an offence, with stricter regulation coming. The CPCB guidelines makes collection, segregation and disposal of e-waste the responsibility of municipal bodies.