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E-Waste Management

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ELECTRONIC WASTE MANAGEMENT IN INDIA–ISSUES AND STRATEGIES
KURIAN JOSEPH Centre for Environmental Studies, Anna University, Chennai, India Phone: 91-44-22301283; Fax: 91-44-22354717

SUMMARY: The current practices of e-waste management in India suffer from a number of drawbacks like the difficulty in inventorisation, unhealthy conditions of informal recycling, inadequate legislation, poor awareness and reluctance on part of the corporate to address the critical issues. The consequences are that (i) toxic materials enter the waste stream with no special precautions to avoid the known adverse effects on the environment and human health and (ii) resources are wasted when economically valuable materials are dumped or unhealthy conditions are developed during the informal recycling. The paper highlights the associated issues and strategies to address this emerging problem, in the light of initiatives in India. The paper presents a waste management system with shared responsibility for the collection and recycling of electronic wastes amongst the manufacturers / assemblers, importers, recyclers, regulatory bodies and the consumers. 1.INTRODUCTION The electronic industry is the world’s largest and fastest growing manufacturing industry (Radha, 2002; DIT, 2003). During the last decade, it has assumed the role of providing a forceful leverage to the socio - economic and technological growth of a developing society. The consequence of its consumer oriented growth combined with rapid product obsolescence and technological advances are a new environmental challenge - the growing menace of “Electronics Waste” or “e waste” that consists of obsolete electronic devices. It is an emerging problem as well as a business opportunity of increasing significance, given the volumes of e-waste being generated and the content of both toxic and valuable materials in them. The fraction…...

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