Toxics Link has been engaged with the issue of e-waste since 2003 and it was the first to raise the related concerns in India. It carried out a detailed study on trade and recycling of used and unserviceable computers in Delhi in 2002--03. This study also focused on the toxic contaminants in computer scrap, the recycling operations and its impact on human and environmental health. The report was titled ‘Scrapping the Hi-Tech Myth: Computer Waste in India’ and brought to fore interesting data in public domain which catalysed the interest of many citizens and professionals.
With growing purchasing power and increased penetration of electronics and electrical, e-waste is one of the fasted growing waste streams and the concerns is its management, particularly, in the developing countries, like India. Though India brought in a legal framework to manage this (E-waste Management Rules, 2016 and the subsequent Amendment 2018 which came in suppression of the earlier E-waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011), the actual management on ground is still at a nascent stage, with little information available on the scale of this waste stream, feasibility of the management system in Indian context and how is it managed currently as most of it is still channelized to the informal sector and handled in rudimentary manner. To address these issues, following are our recent initiatives on e-waste:
Development of E-waste Management Plan for the State of Goa: Goa, one of the most pristine states in the country with highest GDP, is also saddled with the e-waste problem. The e-waste rules had very limited impact on ground here and hence the waste is still managed in the state in an improper manner. There are several gaping holes in the form of lack of collection network and infrastructure, effective awareness programs and a robust and transparent system etc.
Toxics Link is currently engaged with Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) to develop an e-waste management plan for the state with an aim to fill in some of these gaps through e-waste assessment in the state and a plan for feasible collection network covering the entire population. The assessment will include mapping of the current value chain of e-waste, e-waste category wise inventory and the knowledge, attitude and practices of the concerned stakeholders regarding the waste in the state. We will also facilitate the development of an e-waste collection network and facility in Goa.
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Toxics Link has been working on the issue of e-waste for more than a decade, and has fervently advocated for a separate regulation on E waste in the country. The organization has been instrumental in getting the E waste Management and Handling Rule (2011) notified in the country.
Currently, the organization is working on the various aspects by initiating policy conversations to bridge the gaps and address the inadequacies in the framework of the policy. The present intervention seeks to push for an effective implementation and compliance of the rule .Apart from this Toxics Link is also engaged in building the capacity of various stakeholders, especially at state levels. Some of our state interventions are done with local civil society organizations to help build their capacity and also to continue the campaign at the local level. These workshops help facilitate discussions and information exchange on E-waste rules and its implementation among the key stakeholders. .
We also work in close association with the policy makers and government authorities to push them for effective regulations and policies and its effective implementation.
Few of the recent initiatives in this are:
The new rules on e-waste came into effect in May 2012 and which made it mandatory for the users to dispose off their e-waste to formal recyclers. This may result in loss of livelihood for the existing informal e-waste recyclers or they may also pose a competition to the upcoming formal recyclers. To address some of these concerns, Toxics Link has joined hands with GIZ, MAIT and Adelphi. The four city project (Delhi, Kolkata, Pune and Bangalore), supported by the European Union, is aimed at formalising the informal sector and establish a clean e-waste recycling channel involving them. Toxics Link is implementing the project in Kolkata.
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Toxics Link has been actively campaigning on the issue of safe management of e-waste in the country through various research, reports and awareness building exercises. It has been a pioneer in bringing the issue of e-waste in the public forum and has been actively involved in pushing the national government for a separate rule on e-waste, which finally saw success with the notification of E-Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011, notified by the Government of India in May 2011 and became effective from May 2012. Currently, the organization is actively campaigning for better implementation of E-waste Rules and set up a clean e-waste channel in the country through stakeholder capacity building and public awareness programmes. For years, the organization has played the role of a watch dog and acted as a pressure group on the implementing bodies and policy makers to improve compliance.
Toxics Link did a study to assess the two most important stakeholders – Producers and State Pollution Control Board on their responsibility under the E-waste Rules. The report raises serious concern on the current system and questions if it is time to reboot the system and find more effective ways for better e-waste management....Read more
Subsequently, a Public Interest Litigation has been filed against Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), all State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) for inaction on the implementation of the E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011.
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Lack of awareness among the various stakeholders has been a key bottleneck in safe management of e-waste. Toxics Link has been making all efforts to reach out to all the stakeholders, including the general public. The organization has produced short films and many information materials like flyers, posters, brochures etc. targeted at students, professionals, government, etc.
Toxics Link has been organizing school awareness programme across India. Children are the focus of the campaign because they are believed to be “agents of change” with the power to influence parents and promote awareness among the neighbors. Around 1400 schools have already been covered in ten states in the year 2011-12. The campaign covered 1,93000 students and 6,500 teachers. In 2013, almost 800 more schools were approached in 9 states namely, Delhi, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The module of the programme is very interactive including game based activities for the children ensuring higher participations.
If you want to organize a school programme on e-waste, kindly contact us.
As a part of the WEEE project, Toxics Link has set up fourteen (14) bins for collection of e-waste at important public locations and government offices in Kolkata. This was done to create awareness among the common public regarding e-waste and also give them an opportunity to dispose it in a responsible manner. .Read More
Toxics link in its endeavor to generate and foster awareness initiated an awareness generation campaign and E-waste Collection Drive in academic institutions and residential complexes during Durga Puja. Myriad of innovative ideas like installing E Waste recycling bins, banners carrying public awareness messages, drawing and poster competitions on the issues of environment and E- waste were also organized for children at various Puja Pandals, across the city…Read More
Toxics Link in collaboration with HRA E-waste Private Limited organized an ‘E-waste Awareness and Collection Drive’ in Pavitra Appartment, Vasundhara Enclave on 5th June 2014, the World Environment Day. The programme was supported by Department of Environment, Govt. of Delhi.....Read More