India generates 18.5 lakh tonnes of e-waste every year: study

India generates 18.5 lakh tonnes of e-waste every year: study

India generates 18.5 lakh tonnes of e-waste every year: study

India generates about 18.5 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of electronic waste every year, with Mumbai and Delhi-NCR accounting for the biggest chunk, a study says.

Also, the figure is likely to reach up to 30 lakh MT per year by 2018, growing at the rate of 25 per cent, it said.

Mumbai, with 1,20,000 MT has topped the list in generating e-waste followed by Delhi-NCR producing 98,000 MT and Bengaluru producing 92,000 MT, the joint-study by Assocham and Frost and Sullivan said.

Besides, Chennai with 67,000 MT of e-waste, Kolkata 55,000 MT, Ahemdabad 36,000 MT, Hyderabad 32,000 MT and Pune 26,000 MT have made to the list, it said.

Just 2.5 per cent of India's total e-waste gets recycled due to poor infrastructure, legislation and framework, the study said that this has lead to a waste of diminishing natural resources, irreparable damage of environment and health of the people working in industry, the study said.

Over 95 per cent of e-waste generated is managed by the unorganised sector and scrap dealers in this market, dismantle the disposed products instead of recycling it, it added.

In India, about 5 lakhs child labourers between the age group of 10-14 are observed to be engaged in various e-waste (electronic waste) activities, without adequate protection and safeguards in various yards and recycling workshops, Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat noted.

"It is a matter of concern that most of our e-waste is  handled in the most unscientific way by scrap dealers, who may be inadvertently handling radioactive material, as was brought to light in the past in Mayapuri (west Delhi) case," he added.

Further, the study strongly advocates legislation to prevent a child's entry into this kind of labour which includes collection, segregation and distribution.

E-waste comprises computer equipment (about 70 per cent), followed by telecommunication equipment (12), electrical equipment (8) and medical equipment (7).

Other equipment, including household e-crap account for the remaining, it said.

The government, public and private industries contribute over 70 per cent of e-waste, while 15 per cent comes from households, the study said.

Televisions, refrigerators and washing machines make up the majority of e-waste generated, while computers make up to 20 per cent and mobile phones 2 per cent.

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