Section Title

Main Content Link

Minutes of meeting held on 22.09.2005

Electronic Waste

Minutes of E-waste Meeting held at MPCB on 22nd September 2005

Chair    Dr. D. B. Boralkar, Member Secretary (MPCB)

  • Dr. D. B. Boralkar, MPCB     
  • Mr. Bas de Leew & Mr. Vu Anh Tuan, UNEP, Paris
  • Mr. Rolf Widmer, EMPA, St.Gallen     
  • Mr. Rajneesh Sarin, IRG, Delhi  
  • Mr. Vinnie Mehta, MAIT, Delhi

Participants: List enclosed

Opening welcome remarks by Dr. Boralkar.

Dr. Boralkar : Presentation on perspectives of e-waste management in Maharashtra

  • problem of e-waste is at doorstep and it is the right time to design a system to properly collect and recycle e-waste
  • according to EC directive, 12 categories of hazardous e-waste. Per se, the items are not hazardous, but after its end use and if not properly handled, it can become hazardous. Therefore it is important that proper treatment is in place. Mainly components which contain lead, cadmium, brominated flame retardants, CRT’s etc.
  • e-waste is being recycled in India and other south east asian countries resulting in health hazards for workers and environment. Eg. CRT breaking resulting in injuries from cuts, acids used for removal of heavy metals and shredding, burning etc causing respiratory problems.
  • Indian scenario – expected growth rate of PC is 60-70% (according to MAIT data). Manufacturing capacity has increased from less than 20,000 in 1991 to more than 1 million now.
  • Pollution problems associated with backyard smelting using crude processes resulting in fugitive emissions and slag containing heavy metals.
  • Study by BAN (Basel Action Network) and Toxics Link on India, China and Pakistan shows large imports of e-waste. Exports from developed countries mainly due to cost and limited capacity. Despite China’s ban on e-waste imports, large quantities imported and recycled using crude techniques.
  • In India, as per 1989 Hazardous Waste Rules, e-waste not covered unless proved to have higher concentration of certain substances. PCBs and CRT would always exceed these parameters, therefore there are several grey areas that need to be addressed. In Austria, definitions are clear. Basel Convention has WEEE assemblies in A1180 and mirror entry in B1110, mainly on concerns of mercury, lead and cadmium.
  • Mumbai municipal corporation is already in process of improving solid waste management to collect and dispose in a scientific manner.
  • MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) concessions for investment in waste management infrastructure >> land and subsidy
  • MPCB committed to providing 5% capital subsidy for facility
  • MPCB decision to do a rapid assessment of the Mumbai region. IRG+FEE as local partners proposed to conduct study. Toxics Link would be involved to bring transparency. MAIT would be involved in providing the industry perspective. UNEP has shown an interest and is willing to support the study. EMPA and CPCB+ASEM would also provide technical guidance.

Bas de Leew & Vu Anh Tuan, UNEP: Environment and e-waste in India

  • UNEP is leading a global programme on sustainable consumption and production in a broad 10 year framework, working with governments and all regions to move away from throw-away society to a more life cycle pattern.
  • E-waste has environmental, economic and social challenges. For e-waste project, UNEP to join hands with already active communities, take lessons from demonstration projects to other cities in India, Asia etc.
  • Objectives of project: reduce environmental and health impact due to improper recycling of e-waste and improve income generating opportunities, specially in the informal recycling sector
  • 3 levels of objectives: local, national and regional: demonstration projects locally, national level policy and knowledge transfer of experiences and lessons regionally.

Rolf Widmer, EMPA: Indo-Swiss-German e-waste initiative: Experiences of Bangalore and suggestions for Mumbai

  • e-waste is an industrial problem solved by individual people
  • brief introduction to seco global e-waste project: started in 2003, to continue till 2008.
  • brief about indo-german-swiss initiative: with MOEF and ASEM-HAWA
  • Activities under the aegis of the project in Bangalore: WEEE baseline study to know much waste is there now and will be generated in the future– rapid assessment study going on. E-Waste Agency (EWA) launched– formal recycler given approval by KSPCB to start trial run – coordination workshop with informal sector scheduled for October 05.
  • EWA >> no legal framework so far. Set up because of the will of the IT industry to form a voluntary body to meet the needs of the industry to dispose their waste responsibly. To coordinate industries and develop a charter to define and regulate WEEE flows.
  • Suggestions for Mumbai: Use existing experience from Bangalore –additional areas such as imports are unique to Mumbai- form similar industry lead body and rapid assessment simultaneously.
  • 3 ways: high tech, low tech and medium tech

Rajneesh Sareen, IRG: Conducting a rapid e-waste assessment in Mumbai

  • chronological events leading to initiation of Mumbai study
  • Delhi study findings showing e-waste trade chain
  • National level study WEEE generation highest in Maharashtra and Mumbai.

Vinnie Mehta, MAIT: Industry perspectives on WEEE

  • industry recognizes e-waste as an emerging large challenge and would definitely like to support e-waste initiative in Mumbai
  • have been involved with EMPA in understanding this issue for the past 2 years and have moved from initial resistance towards collaboration
  • Assured of all possible cooperation from association and industry
  • Open to requirements and suggestions for further involvement

Q&A Open Discussion

Rakesh: Area of study should include Pune as well
Deole/ Nandushekhar:first infrastructure should be in place before setting up rules. Example of batteries where the rule exists but is difficult to implement
Mr. Nair: Existing authorized recyclers to be identified.
Mr. Markandey: explore mandatory take-back by manufacturers.
Dr. Boralkar: Example of Switzerland where ARF (Advanced Recycling Fees) charged on buying a product which goes to SWICO to ensure proper recycling of e-waste.
Mr. Vinnie Mehta:collaborative campaign to sensitise users. Consumers should pay for recycling of electronic goods.
Dr. Boralkar:People willing to pay for better services. To create win win situation, to attract the people to make the payments, confidence building is necessary.
Wankhede:current collection system is efficient because nothing that comes out of the household goes into the landfills. Build capacity of existing disposal system.
Rakesh: manufacturers should make recyclable components that can extend the life of goods.
Mahesh: Share good details of the China model with the entrepreneurs.
Dr.Boralkar:Closing arguments and proposal for way forward: urged that everyone agrees and supports MPCB initiative for the rapid assessment for e-waste. Setting up of proper collection system for e-waste. Will be fully supported by government and industry.
proposed that an expert group be set up to steer and guide the initiative. Suggested members: MAIT (as association) + 3 memebers, Toxics Link (NGO), MCGM, academic institute (IGIDR/NEERI), EMPA (Deepali), Representative of media.
     Meeting to be scheduled in 15 days.
     TOR for expert group:  

  •  finalise protocol for study proposed by IRG and assess cost.
  •  Study legislative requirements within local and state government powers that are needed to set up facility for recycling and collection system
  • Develop for PPP project proposal (IGIDR, CRISIL etc)

     MPCB to assess authorized recyclers and update notified technology requirements
     Collection centres and buy-back – study municipal laws eg. Construction and demolition waste
     MPCB to send formal request to UNEP with technical details regarding timeframe/ budgetary requirements for assessment and for external short term consultant for the project
Dr. Boralkar: Funding agencies such as ADB and WB are ready to support such projects. Foreign investors have also shown interest in setting up facility.  
The meeting ended with a note of thanks proposed by Dr. Katoley to the Chair and the speakers.