Eco Recycling Ltd

India: An emerging morgue for e-Products

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Courtesy of Eco Recycling Ltd

India is a preferred destination for IT manufacturers all over the world. High percentage of literacy rate, improving lifestyle of the people and their economic standard are the attracting factors for the global IT players. The huge market for IT products is also luring manufacturers day by day. People’s passion for having the latest technologies is also equally attractive. Recycling and going for eco-friendly are most discussed subjects. While telling India is facing the death of recycling centres, it is directly pointing towards the fact that our nation is changing into a morgue for electronic wastes.  Here, IT VAR News is trying to throw some lights on this issue based on the inputs given by Mr. Murali Krishna GV, Process Lead – Quality, Satyam Computers.

The concept of e-waste management…

Any waste from electrical or electronic discarded equipment can be termed as E-Waste internationally known as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment). As the market for electrical and electronic products accelerates, there is a corresponding explosion in the quantity of electronic scrap. This rapidly growing amount of such waste presents severe difficulties because a wide range of hazardous chemicals are / have been used in components of electrical and electronic devises. These create substantial problems at the time of handling and disposal. The effects of E-Waste disposal are evident. The presence of Lead, Cadmium, and polychlorinated biphenyl’s (PBC’s), Mercury etc contaminates the environment when disposed and also effects the health of those involved in recycling / handling of such waste.

E-waste management in Satyam…

E-Waste management has been identified as one of the focus areas at Satyam. Satyam is focused to minimize damage to the natural environment caused due to its business operations. This commitment has been formalized as a policy that governs Satyam’s operations. Since most of the electronic scrap comprises of computers which are imported under the STPI schemes, these have to be de-bonded before they can be disposed. E-waste (Classified as hazardous waste as per the hazardous waste management rules) has to be disposed in compliance with the State Pollution control boards requirements. E-waste has to be disposed to an identified agency (identified after a long and detailed due diligence exercise) which has the ability and infrastructure to recycle the components in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. A detailed agreement has been established with the agency, under which Satyam has the right to review and audit the agencies’ processes at any given time. We have adopted ISO 14001: 2004 standards as a framework for governing our business operations.

E-waste includes obsolete electronic devices- computers, servers, main frames, monitors, TVs and display devices, cellular phones, calculators, audio and video devices, printers, scanners, copiers and fax machines, refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines and microwave ovens, DVDs, printing cartridges, chips, processors, motherboards, printed circuit boards, industrial electronics like sensors, alarms, sirens, security devices etc. As of now, the focus is to ensure eco friendly disposal of all the computer wastes and UPS batteries because it forms almost all of the E-waste that we need to dispose. Disposal is done through a State pollution control board authorized agency.
Broadly, this problem can be dealt with by issuing regulations which cover the production, disposal and recycling of electronic and electrical components that eventually become E-waste at the end of the equipment/machinery. We need a regulatory framework like the European directive on Waste electrical and electronic (WEEE) and the Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS).

However, in the absence of any such regulations, Satyam has been sensitive and has identified an authorized agency. The obsolete computers are de-bonded and thereafter disposed.
India, a mortuary for obsolete computers…

Our nation is becoming a mortuary for the obsolete computers. There have been various mentions of India and China for the presence of the largest “unregulated” e-waste recycling sectors. As noted in the United Nations environment program- UNEP 2004 there is a need for establishing a network of policy makers and experts to deal with this growing issue in Asia. It is a critical situation today in India because most of these “recycling” units are often small independent workshops and there is often little or no control over such establishments.

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