7 Oct :Electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) comprises of wastes generated from used electronic devices and house hold appliances which are not fit for their original intended use and are destined for recovery, recycling or disposal. Such wastes encompasses wide range of electronic devises such as computers, hand held cellular phones, personal stereos, including large household appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners etc.
e-waste contain hazardous material
E-wastes contains several different substances such as heavy metals plastics etc. which are toxic and potentially hazardous to the environment and human health, if these are not handled in an environmentally sound manner. Classification of e-waste shall depend upon the extent of presence of hazardous constituents in it.
As per the definition given in the Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2003 “hazardous wastes” means any waste which by reason of any of its physical, chemical reactive toxic, flammable, explosive or corrosive characteristic causes danger or is likely to cause danger to health or environment, whether alone or when in contact with other wastes or substances, and shall include the wastes listed in schedule 1, 2 and 3 of the said Rules.
E-waste contains a witches’ brew of toxic substances such as lead and cadmium in circuit boards; lead oxide and cadmium in computer batteries; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in order capacitors and transformers and brominates flame retardant on printed circuit boards, plastic casing, cable and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cable insulation that releases highly toxic dioxins and furans when burned to retrieve copper from the wires.
The Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1989 was notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and has been amended in 2000 and 2003. The principal objective of these regulations is to establish a control mechanism for the management of hazardous wastes.
Ø These rules provide control for the generation, collection, storage, transport, treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes.
Ø The import of hazardous wastes from other countries purely dumping and disposal in the country is not permitted under these rules.
Ø The implementation of these rules are through the identified State agencies. Viz., the State Pollution Control Boards, Pollution Control Boards, Pollution Control committees of UTs and the State Department of Environment or any other concerned Department.
Ø The non-compliance or contradiction of any section of these rules are punishable under Section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
The hazardous wastes categories to which these rules are applicable are given in three schedules namely:
Ø Schedule 1 describes processes generating hazardous wastes and the waste streams for 36 categories.
Ø Schedule 2 list of hazardous wastes constituents with concentration limits. 78 categories have been listed under 5 classes A to E based on their hazard potential.
Schedule 3 Part A includes the List of hazardous wastes for the purpose of imports and exports. This includes Lists A & B adopted from Annex VII * Annex IX of the Basel Convention.( Schedule 3 substances, in the sense of the Chemical Weapons Convention, are chemicals which can either be used as toxic chemical weapons or used in the manufacture of chemical weapons but which also have legitimate large-scale industrial uses. Plants which manufacture of more than 30 tonnes per year must be declared and can be inspected as per Part VIII of the "Verification Annex", and there are restrictions on export to countries which are not CWC signatories. Examples of these substances are phosgene, which has been used as a chemical weapon but which is also a precursor in the manufacture of many legitimate organic compounds and triethanolamine, used in the manufacture of nitrogen mustard but also commonly used in toiletries and detergents.
As with the other schedules, they are sub-divided into Part A substances, which are chemicals that can be used directly as weapons, and Part B which are precursors useful in the manufacture of chemical weapons.Chemicals which can be used as weapons, or used in their manufacture, but which have no, or almost no, legitimate applications as well are listed in Schedule 1, whilst Schedule 2 is used for chemicals which have legitimate small-scale applications.)
Schedule 3 Part B includes the List of hazardous characteristics based on Annex III of the Basel Convention as per the UN classification.
Ø Schedule 4 gives the list of 22 Non-Ferrous Metal Wastes permitted for recycling.
Ø Schedule 8 provides the list of 29 hazardous wastes are prohibited for Import and Export.