OMG! all this is e-waste?

E-waste or electronic waste, therefore, broadly describes loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, broken, electrical or electronic devices. However, for regulation purposes and for the benefit of recyclers E Waste has been classified in various ways. Categorization also identifies the responsibility for the disposal of the E Waste.

“Update: ZeroWaste is now InstaCash

Historic & Non Historic E Waste — One of the several ways of enlisting E Waste into categories is terming these as Historic & Non Historic.

Historic E Waste are those which came into being before the promulgation of any laws and makes the Owner of the E-waste responsible for its proper recycling. Whereas, Non — Historic E Waste are the ones which were produced after the notification and thus puts the responsibility of its recovery and recycling or disposal on the producers.

In India the people the Government notified the Rules and guidelines in May 2011 to become effective from May 2012.

Main Categories of EEE covered in Indian E-Waste Rules

The categories of electrical and electronic equipment covered under the rules of the E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 in India can be enumerated as under.

IT and telecommunication equipment:

  • Centralized data processing; Mainframes, Minicomputers; Personal computing; Personal computers (Central processing unit with input and output devices), Laptop computers (Central processing unit with input and output devices), Notebook computers, Notepad computers, Printers including cartridges, Copying equipment, Electrical and electronic typewriters, User terminals and systems, Facsimile, Telex, Telephones, Pay telephones, Cordless telephones, Cellular telephones, Answering systems

Consumer electronics:

  • Television sets (including sets based on (Liquid Crystal Display and Light Emitting Diode technology), Refrigerator, Washing Machine, Air-Conditioners excluding centralized air conditioning plants.

Categories of EEE covered in European Commission Directive

The European Commission considers E Waste as Historic if placed on the market prior to 2005. The directive places the onus upon the owner of the equipment to make provisions for its recycling. Where equipment was placed on the market after 2005, it is known as non-historic WEEE (denoted by a bar underneath the crossed-out wheeled bin symbol), and it is the responsibility of the producer/distributor to make provisions for its collection and recycling.

In another fashion the WEEE directive sets a total of 10 categories of WEEE for reporting purposes. These 10 categories are based as per voltage rating of 1000 volts for alternating current and 1500 volts for direct current. The EEE has been further classified into ‘components’, ‘sub-assemblies’ and ‘consumables’

  • Large household appliances
  • Small household appliances
  • IT and telecommunications equipment
  • Consumer equipment
  • Lighting equipment
  • Electrical and electronic tools
  • Toys, leisure and sports equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Monitoring and control instruments
  • Automatic dispensers

Hazardous electronic wastes comprise

  • Uninterruptable power supplies, lead-acid batteries
  • Cathode ray tubes (televisions, computer monitors)
  • Fluorescent tubes, backlights to laptop screens, thin-film transistors
  • Electrical/electronic equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)
  • Fridges and freezers, due to chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), an ozone-depleting substance. As of 2012 revisions to the regulations, all refrigerants are considered Hazardous.

WEEE that is delivered to household waste recycling centres (HWRC), also known as designated collection facilities (DCFs), is collected by or delivered to approved & authorised treatment facilities (AATFs). The waste electrical and electronic equipment is then weighed and categorized in accordance with the directive.

For more information or to join ZeroWaste ‘Buy One, Recycle One Mission get in touch with us at |

Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Digital India needs ways to manage its Digital Waste

Soft Talent to Power Progress: Finally it would dawn on India as a state policy to push digitization of India. It is a long overdue effort considering that for many years India and its soft talent has been reckoned as global power house. Yet the country itself could never leverage its own talent to efficiently manage its affairs.

“Update: ZeroWaste is now InstaCash

Since much of the reason for India excelling in digital domain was largely due to private individual and corporate efforts. Now with the same becoming state sponsored effort this will indeed result in all encompassing transformation of the entire nation to the benefit of its citizen.


Ambitious Project: The 10, 00,000 Million Rupees Digital India Project ambitiously aims at

  1. establishing broadband connectivity in 250,000 villages of India,
  2. promote e-governance,
  3. universal phone connectivity and
  4. make India global leader of IT in services like health, education and banking
  5. transform India into a connected knowledge economy


Digital India is much needed, so is Digital Waste Redressal

The enormity of the project, the ambitious coverage and the wide and deep ramifications it would have through all its nine pillars and especially electronics Manufacturing, Universal Access to devices for ICT would include creation of huge digital infrastructure.

There will be Wi-Fi at schools, universities and public wi-fi hotspots. The Post Offices to be turned into Multi-Service Centres with all gadgetry installed. Manufacturing of FABS, Fab-less design, Set top boxes, VSATs, Mobiles, Consumer & Medical Electronics, Smart Energy meters, Smart cards, micro-ATMs. The aim of the project is to deliver government services to the citizens directly. The government also wants to ensure smart phones in the hand of every citizen by 2019.

The Digital Waste Challenge: The Digital India Project document does inform about the challenges on the implementation of such a large project in terms of unprecedented scale; Human & Financial resource mobilization apart from the intra government coordination. However, it misses out on the fallout of the electronic mess that would be created in the years to come.

E Waste from Electronic Obsolescence: It is a well known fact the obsolescence of Electronics is the quickest. It is not difficult to understand what sort of E Waste would be generated from projects of such proportions and sweeping geographical coverage.

Though there has been a passing reference on the linking of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan but that too to create awareness and support for the ongoing governmental activities for participation and disposal of municipal waste.

We certainly hope the authorities would take into account the e waste challenge that fall out of digitalizing India. It needs to be highlighted and understood before the problem just stomp us in the face with our efforts falling short. That would be one of the grave failures of such a glorious project. A comprehensive view is much warranted for Digitizing India.

Note: This post was originally published in July 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Who plays with your old e-toys?

WHO had raised several concerns regarding children health and injuries through e-waste. A recent study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), revealed that over 35,000 to 45,000 child labourers aged between 10–14 works around the e-waste areas, and faces several injuries and deaths while dismantling the e-waste. There is a strong force from the chamber for effective legislation in preventing the poor children from such working areas. We are exhibiting a techno-aligned life and in doing so we are consciously or unconsciously impacting various other lives with an add-on evil for nature.

“Update: ZeroWaste is now InstaCash

The hideous profile of India

  • Delhi, itself produces roughly around 50,000 metric tons of e-waste. With a GDP growth of 7.5 percent, and a population of 125cr, India ranks high in terms of e-waste generation.
  • The ASSOCHAM report highlights that as many as 8,500 mobile phones, 5,500 TVs and 3,000 personal computers are dismantled in the capital city, Delhi every day for reuse of their component parts and materials.
  • The figure is booming with the advent of technology and new launches. Delhi has emerged as the main hub of e-waste recycling in the country with the e-waste from Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities reaching in there.

Their Health, Our Concern

The mounds of junk or e-waste has created as a great source for poor children to satiate their playful self by these e-gadgets which is a waste for riches but the only joyous element for them. The e-waste has certain toxic elements like lead, mercury, and cadmium which harms the health as well as injures the children. The dumping zone or the trash is accumulated in an open ground where they reach with their families to become prey of these fancy waste products. The exposure to these harmful by-products can lead to nausea, irritability, vomiting and several other ailments to a healthy person, then till what extent it can affect children?

Where are we heading?

The implementation of strong legislation for proper recycling and organized dumping is quite essential at this point of time. It apparently needs awareness and an eye-opener for those who dispose their old goods unethically. Children have a right to education, smile, play, joy, everything. They need to be protected from this misfortune. In this battle, one of the biggest wildcards can only be human behavior. If people are not convinced to participate in this race, even the best designed system will collapse. Therefore, we as humans need to practice our duties and establish a rigid structure of organized discarding.

Note: This post was originally published in June 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.