E-waste assessment methodology and validation in India

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Courtesy of Springer

An attempt has been made to establish an approach and a methodology to quantify electronic waste (e-waste) in India. The study was limited to personal computers (PCs) and televisions (TVs) within the state boundaries of Delhi and in selected areas in the National Capital Region (NCR). Material flow analysis was used to establish an e-waste trade value chain, where cathode ray tubes (CRTs) were tracked in the e-waste dismantling stream of the CRT regunning process. The market supply method was used to estimate the theoretical amount of e-waste for each item. Sensitivity analysis was carried out for PCs, using 5 years and 7 years as the average life, and for TVs, using 10 years and 12 years as the average life. Externalities such as e-waste entering the study area from outside were factored into the final e-waste analysis. Sensitivity analysis on the average life also factored in elements of active usage, reuse, and storage of electronic items and consumer behavior into assumptions about the obsolescence rate in market supply method. A primary survey indicated an output of 1800–2100 CRTs per day from all regunning units in the study area. This range validated the theoretical output for an average life of 7 years for a PC and 12 years for a TV. Using this approach, e-waste was estimated to reach 2 million units from the domestic market by 2010.

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