In order to deal with the problem of e-waste the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India has prescribed the e-Waste Management and Handling Rules, 2011. These rules were notified vide S.O.No.1035 E dated 12-5-2011 but will be effective from 2012 only.
These Rules contain the following provisions:
Chapter 1- Preliminary
The rules are applicable to producer, consumer or bulk consumer engaged in the manufacture, sale, purchase and processing of electronic equipment or components and to recyclers, collection centres and dismantlers of e-Waste. The following activities are excluded from the ambit of this act,
- Batteries as covered in the Batteries (Manufacture and Handling) Rules 2001
- Micro as well as small enterprises as defined in the Micro, Small and Medium enterprises Development Act 2006
- Radioactive waste as defined in the Atomic Energy Waste.
Some terms used in the act like e-Waste, electronic goods and equipments, authorization, consumer, dismantler, disposal, environmentally sound management , Central and State Boards etc., have been defined
Chapter 2 – Responsibilities
Responsibilities prescribe the duties to be performed by the producer, collection centers, consumers, dismantlers and recycler.
E-waste has to be properly segregated and collected through authorized vendors. Collection centers are set up to store the e-waste in the right form and in a secure place as per prescribed standards and procedures ensuring that no damage is done to the environment. Records have to be maintained to keep a detail of the amount of e-waste and centers.
The dismantlers and recyclers are also required to follow the prescribed procedures. Refining of precious and other metals can only be done by recyclers registered with the Central Control Board.
Chapter 3 – Seeking authorization for handling e-waste
Handlers of E-Waste as above have to seek an Authorisation of the State Pollution Control Board. Recycling Facilities have to be registered through the Central Pollution Control Board.
Chapter 4 – Storage for e-waste
E-waste can be stored for a maximum of 3 months unless otherwise permitted by the State Pollution Control Board. Proper records of sale, segregation as well as transfer have to be kept.
But in certain cases the State Pollution Control Board can increase that time period. It can be either in the case when the States do not have registered centres and do not have recycling facilities. The other case may be when the e-waste is required for the development process or its reuse.
Chapter 5 – Decrease in the percentage of the hazardous substances used in the manufacturing process of electronic equipments
The manufacturing process should not include the listed elements like lead, chromium, mercury etc. Even if they are used in severe cases the percentage should be about 0.1% not more than that.