To check e-waste, 243 dealers in Delhi NCR told to take back old electronics
India’s top pollution watchdog has identified more than 240 electronic goods manufacturers and dealers in and around Delhi who must take back used products and, if you are lucky, have them picked up from your doorstep and also pay you for it.
This marks the formal rollout of the national recycling policy for discarded electronic and electrical goods under the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) plan. The policy forms the core of the country’s e-waste management rules issued last year.
To begin with, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified 243 manufacturers and dealers in the National Capital Region to take back used gadgets. “While 143 (of these) have already applied for EPR authorisation, around 85 have been granted the certificate,” A Sudhakar, member secretary of the CPCB, told Hindustan Times.
Letters have been sent to the remaining companies and dealers asking them to get their EPR authorisation or face penalty, Sudhakar said. India is one of the biggest producers of ‘e-waste’ globally, producing about 1.7 million tonnes annually. The NCR produces about 100,000-lakh tonnes of e-waste annually, industry estimates say.
Most of this ends up with scrap dealers who dismantle even hazardous products without care, leading to toxic materials mixing with soil and air.
Experts say this leads to dangerous levels of environmental pollution that pose serious health hazard to humans and animals.
‘E-waste’ – used to describe any discarded device with an electric cord or battery – include items such as refrigerators, televisions, computers, mobile phones and even USB cables. Across India, there are about 178 recyclers of e-waste who can be engaged by the manufacturers and dealers to pick up used products from customers’ homes. In Delhi, there are around 37 e-waste collection centres.
A CPCB official said online shopping sites such as Amazon have also been granted the EPR authorisation.
“Many people buy electronics online so it made sense to get them on board for this initiative,” the official said.
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the development.
“We have registered with the CPCB for EPR authorisation for our devices... we will continue to engage with relevant stakeholders such as our brand partners and regulators as well as sellers to understand this better,” the spokesperson added.