Sources-Electrical and electronics devices generating e- waste are from IT & telecommunication equipment and consumer electrical / electronic products such as refrigerators, washing machines, computer and its accessories, monitors, printers, keyboards, central processing units, typewriters, mobile phones and chargers, remotes, compact discs, headphones, batteries, LCD/Plasma TVs, i-pods, air conditioners, dryers, fridge, VCRs, Stereos, Copiers, fax machines, video games, presenters, music system and other household appliances etc. many of which contain toxic materials.
Composition- The composition of E-Waste is diverse and falls under ‘hazardous’ and ‘non-hazardous’ categories. Broadly, it consists of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, glass, wood and plywood, printed circuit boards, concrete, ceramics, rubber and other items. The E&E products are homogenous solid components containing heavy metals, polymers, flame retardants, polychlorinated biphenyls, etc. Some examples are given below-Cathode ray tubes, found in televisions and computers contain lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium and brominated flame retardants.
A mobile phone/ smart phone contains more than 50 different components, including base metals (such as copper, tin), special metals (such as cobalt, indium, and antimony) and precious metals (such as silver, gold, palladium). The most common metal is copper (9g), while the precious metal content is in the order of milligrams only (about 250 mg silver, 24 mg gold and 9 mg palladium). The lithium-ion battery contains about 3.5 grams of cobalt. Iron and steel constitute about 50% of the waste, followed by plastics (21%), non-ferrous metals (13%) and other constituents. Non-ferrous metals consist of metals like copper, aluminium and precious metals like silver, gold, platinum, palladium and so on. The presence of elements like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, selenium, hexavalent chromium, and flame retardants beyond threshold quantities make E-Waste hazardous in nature. It contains over 1000 different substances, many of which are toxic, and creates serious pollution upon disposal. Obsolete computers pose the most significant environmental and health hazard among the E-Wastes.
It is estimated that about 50 million tonnes E-Waste is generated every year all over the world. USA generates about 3 million tonnes, China generates about 2.5 million tonnes, EU generates about 8-9 million tonnes. . It is anticipated that generation of E-Waste will be on rise in years to come. According to the Comptroller and Auditor- General’s (CAG) report, over 7.2 MT of industrial hazardous waste, 4 lakh tonnes of electronic waste, 1.5 MT of plastic waste, 1.7 MT of medical waste, 48 MT of municipal waste are generated in the country annually. In 2005, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) estimated India’s E-Waste at 1.47 lakh tonnes or 0.573 MT per day. A study released by the Electronics Industry Association of India (ELCINA) at the electronics industry expo –“Componex Nepcon 2009” had estimated the total E-Waste generation in India at a whopping 4.34 lakh tonnes by end 2009. India generates about 1500 metric kilo tonnes of E-Waste every year.
Major sources of E-Waste in India
The main sources of electronic waste in India are the government, public and private (industrial) sectors, which account for almost 70 per cent of total waste generation. The contribution of individual households is relatively small at about 15 per cent; the rest being contributed by manufacturers. There are 10 States that contribute to 70 per cent of the total E-Waste generated in the country, while 65 cities generate more than 60 per cent of the total E-Waste in India. Among the 10 largest E-Waste generating States, Maharashtra ranks first followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Among the top ten cities generating E-Waste, Mumbai ranks first followed by Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat and Nagpur. An Indian market Research Bureau (IMRB) survey of ‘E-Waste generation at Source’ in 2009 found that out of the total E-Waste volume in India, televisions and desktops including servers comprised 68 per cent and 27 per cent respectively. Imports and mobile phones comprised of 2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.The rapid growth in digital world, its deeper reach in life & unavoidable need has directly affected the present generation. Jaipur is a fast growing city although generation of E-Waste in Jaipur is not at confront to other alarming cities but organisation recognizes the situation and adopted the action where “Prevention is better than cure”.