Eco Recycling Ltd

Effective e-waste recycling revolves around the 4Ls

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Courtesy of Eco Recycling Ltd

Effective E-waste Recycling Revolves around 4Ls

1. Legislation (Effective implementation)
2. Liability (Effective awareness campaigns to familiarize stakeholders)
3. Logistic (Collection & Warehousing)
4. Liquidity (Money & Material)

An effective e-waste recycling is possible only when we effectively address the above 4 areas of concern. The time has come to seriously work on a separate Legislation for handling WEEE in India. Most of the developed nations already have legislations in place and are taking serious steps for effective implementation. As we know that Basel Convention restricts trans-boundary movement of such hazardous material (barring a few relaxations) and therefore every country has to deal with these end of life equipments within their boundaries in an environment friendly manner. The time has come for India too to show to the World that we are also not legging behind. This step will have a very positive impact on the overall environment, ecology and make the stakeholders more responsible. At the same time it is pleasant to note that some of the large generators (mainly responsible corporate) of e-waste otherwise favors proper recycling then handing over to “Kabadies” (scrap dealers).

It is equally important is to establish “Liability” of all the stakeholders, who are they:
Generator & Government (Regulator)
Operator (User)
Destroyer (Recycler)
The legislation has to clearly define the responsibilities of all the above stakeholders to reach to an effective solution. It is being generally debated whether it is possible to implement the principles of “Extended Producers Responsibility” in our country, I think it is very difficult in India due to several practical difficulties.

Reverse Logistic plays a very important role in this industry, primarily because users are increasing day by day and spread over the whole nation. Cost of logistic, packing, loading, unloading and handling are some times higher then the value realized at the end. To address this, Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), large commercial complexes, other commercial hubs have to provide closed & guarded warehouses in their areas and a Central Distribution Agency (CDA) should be formed and managed by the Recognized Recyclers for distribution amongst themselves in proportion to their installed capacities. The CDA may have its own fleet of collection vehicles, material handling equipments, inventorisation etc. The CDA may involve Kabadies in Supply Chain Management (SCM) for collection from door to door and may suitably reward them for their cost effective collection mechanism. This will not only save their jobs but they will be able to work in better environment to protect their health from the adverse impact of gases generated during burning wires & cables while recovering metals, inhaling several toxins while opening CRTs and other complicated equipments, coming in contact with the dangerous liquids being used for extracting metals etc.

To promote private entrepreneurs to undertake the responsibility of attending this hazardous waste effectively the Government has to work on a “Package of Incentive” which may include land on long term lease at a nominal price, subsidy, tax holiday, loan at subsidized rate, infrastructure status to the industry etc. At the same time the Administration has to work to implement the “Rules” seriously so that end of life electrical & electronic items naturally goes to the Recognized Recyclers for Responsible Recycling without exception. The above steps will improve Liquidity of e-waste and flow of investment from the private entrepreneurs.

I am confident that the above course will result in to an effective solution to address environmental & ecological problems arising out of the present style of e-waste handling.

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