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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

‘Stringent e-waste disposal rules soon’


New Delhi: With illegal recycling of used electronic goods like mobile phones and computers posing a big environmental and health hazard, the government for the first time will now come out with stringent regulations for management and disposal of e-waste.
"We will make the separate set of rules for ewaste management public by May 15,'' said environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh
in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Around 85-90% of the recycling of electronic equipment is done in the informal or unorganised sector in areas like Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Dharavi slums in Mumbai and Seelampur in Delhi. "These are illegal facilities'' but "no government has dared take action against them'' since they generate huge employment, he said.

The minister said he was also personally against allowing import of second-hand computers in the name of charity since they contributed to the e-waste problem. "We are going to take a tough stand against this,'' he said.

With the aim to help the recycling in the unorganised sector transform into an organised one, the government has put in place "a financing mechanism'' for establishing facilities for treatment, storage and disposal of e-waste.
Under it, while the centre and state governments would contribute 25% each, the rest would come from private entrepreneurs, said Ramesh.
Surveys estimate that 1.47 lakh tonnes of e-waste was generated in 2005, which is expected to increase to about 8 lakh tonnes by 2012. Around 50,000 tonnes of e-waste is being dumped into the country, he said.


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