Delhi : The National Capital Region (NCR) is likely to generate about 1,50,000 metric tonnes (MT) of electronic-waste per annum by 2020, from the current level of 85,000MT, according to industry body The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). Electronic waste is expected to be generated at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 25 per cent in the Delhi-NCR region, the industry lobby said on Tuesday.

  ASSOCHAM attributed factors like low organised recycling, cross-border flow of waste equipment into the country, limited awareness regarding disposal and a lack of coordination between various authorities for non- involvement of municipalities in e-waste management. “Less than 1.5 per cent of India’s total electronic waste gets recycled due to absence of proper infrastructure, legislation and framework. The country produced approximately 2.5 million metric tonnes of e-waste in 2017,” ASSOCHAM said. E-waste products have components that contain toxic substances like lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, plastic, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardants (BFR), barium, beryllium, and carcinogens like carbon black and heavy metals. This deadly mix can trigger severe health problems in those handling the waste.

 “Looking at the country-wise share in India’s e-waste imports, US has a maximum share of around 42 per cent, China at around 30 per cent followed by Europe at around 18 per cent and the remaining 10 per cent is from other countries like Taiwan, South Korea, Japan etc,” ASSOCHAM said in a statement.

A mixed bag

Computer equipment accounts for almost 68 per cent of electronic waste followed by telecom equipment (12 per cent), electrical equipment (eight per cent) and medical equipment (seven per cent). Other equipment, including household e-scrap, accounts for the remaining five per cent, the chamber said. It said that as many as 12,500 mobile handsets, 8,500 television sets and 5,500 personal computers are dismantled in the city every day for re-use of their component parts and materials as these products are getting more affordable and more and more people are using them.

 Electronic waste typically includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, cathode ray tubes, printed circuit board, mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, white goods such as liquid crystal display / plasma televisions, air conditioners, refrigerators, among others. “With the increasing use of these [products] in our everyday life, e- waste is also piling up. Almost half of all unused and end- of-life electronic products lie idle in landfills, junkyards and warehouses,” the chamber added.

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