10 Nov : Import and export of hazardous waste material is allowed in the country only for their reuse and recycling in an environmentally sound manner. This material is not allowed for dumping and disposal. Keeping in view the concerns of the environment, so far imports of waste oil or lead acid batteries scrap etc have not been permitted. Regarding imported waste paper, some waste matter up to 8% in the import of waste paper has been permitted. The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests stipulates that there can not be any organic waste mixed with paper and the importers would ensure that whatever permissible waste comes along with the imported waste is recycled in an environmentally sound manner.
Import/export of hazardous wastes into the country is subject to the provisions of the Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989 as amended in 2003.They are regulated under rules 11, 12, 13 and 14 of the Hazardous Waste Rules as amended in 2003.All the trans-boundary movement of hazardous waste take place with the consent of the competent authorities of India and importing/exporting country. Accordingly, the importer of any hazardous wastes takes permission of the concerned Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee and the exporter of any hazardous waste takes permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forests providing all details.
The government took stringent actions to import of paper waste for processing by the paper mills which is now under Open General License. Initially the waste paper mixed with municipal solid waste had come into the country in the form of imports. The Ministry, keeping in view, our dependence on imported waste paper, issued guidelines to permit maximum 8% content of waste matter which is verified by the Customs Authority in respect of each of imported assignment. The importers also ensure that all recyclable materials are actually recycled, either by them or by other firms in the business of recycling. The guidelines also stipulate that there cannot be any organic waste mixed with waste paper and the importers would ensure that whatever permissible waste come along with the imported waste paper is recycled in an environmentally sound manner. The primary waste material which is imported in the country comes in the form of copper and zinc scraps for manufacture of secondary copper and zinc. Besides these non halogenated plastic scrap is also imported.
As far as ship breaking activities are concerned, India’s position in international forum on ship breaking is that ship destined for breaking is not a waste. We have the capacity to undertake ship breaking activity in an environmentally sound manner. The country has one of the largest ship breaking yards in Asia at Alang in Gujarat. The ship breaking at Alang contributes a good percentage of our steel requirement in the country. A large Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) have come up at Alang.