Free Press Journal

Govt issues new rules on management of hazardous waste


New Delhi: Government has released new rules for management of hazardous wastes which for the first time include a separate category of items like tyre, metal scrap, paper and certain electronic goods that can be recycled and reused.

Import of metal scrap, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipments for re-use purpose has been exempted from the need of obtaining Environment Ministry’s permission under the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management &Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016.

They have also revised all forms for permission, transportation, and import and export amongst others, indicating “a stringent approach for management of such wastes along with simplification of procedure,” a government statement said.

While releasing the new rules, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said they are “environment and industry friendly” and “in line with this Government’s priority for ease of doing business and Make in India, but with responsible concerns for sustainable development.”

The ambit of the rules has been expanded by including ‘Other Waste’. For the first time, rules have been made to distinguish between Hazardous Waste and other wastes which include tyre, paper waste, metal scrap, used electronic items, etc. which are recognized as a resource for recycling and reuse.

These resources supplement the industrial processes and reduce the load on the virgin resource of the country, it said.

Javadekar said that the rules will ensure “resource recovery” and disposal of hazardous waste in a environmentally sound manner. Under the new rules, import of metal scrap, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipments for re-use purpose has been exempted from the need of obtaining Ministry’s permission.

“Waste management hierarchy in the sequence of priority of prevention, minimization, reuse, recycling, recovery, co-processing; and safe disposal has been incorporated.

“All the forms under the rules for permission, import/export, filing of annual returns, transportation, etc. have been revised significantly, indicating the stringent approach for management of such hazardous and other wastes with simultaneous simplification of procedure,” the statement said.

It said that the basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs), specific to waste type, which has to be complied by the stakeholders and ensured by SPCB/PCC while granting such authorisation.

“Procedure has been simplified to merge all the approvals as a single window clearance for setting up of hazardous waste disposal facility and import of other wastes. “Co-processing as preferential mechanism over disposal for use of waste as supplementary resource, or for recovery of energy has been provided.

“The approval process for co-processing of hazardous waste to recover energy has been streamlined and put on emission norms basis rather than on trial basis. “The process of import/export of waste under the Rules has been streamlined by simplifying the document-based procedure and by revising the list of waste regulated for import/export,” the rules said.