The Centre has readied new rules making it mandatory for electronic appliance makers to set up centres around the country to collect and safely dispose of electronic waste.
The environment ministry will issue a draft notification for managing e-waste, of which India will be second largest generator by 2012, soon. “The new draft rules will be out within a week,” a ministry official said.
According to the new rules, citizens will have to dispose of electronic appliances at designated centres instead of in a municipal bin. “The citizens may also get some money for that,” said Ravi Aggarwal, of NGO Toxic Link, who has been on the environment ministry’s committee on e-waste.
E-waste is currently defined under Hazardous Management Rules, which were applicable more to industry than to households. With e-waste becoming a pollution challenge, the ministry has decided on a separate regulation, which Aggarwal described as a “significant step”.
In the new rules, the ministry has for the first time defined “extended producer responsibility” in dealing with household e-waste. That would mean setting up centres around India where citizens can dispose of items such as computers, television sets and refrigerators.
“The producers will be responsible to ensure that electronic waste is disposed of in an environment friendly manner,” a ministry official said. The manufacturers can sell the e-waste to registered recyclers or dispose of them at designated sites.
Toxic Link and Information Technology industry in a study found that if e-waste is sold to recyclers, the companies could provide an incentive to citizens of up to Rs 400 for a computer to take back their waste.