E-waste Management

E-waste Management Rules – 2016, passed by the Government of India, mandate strict guidelines for Producers & Manufacturers of Electronic Equipment for managing their end-of-life products as part of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Producers & Manufacturers not only have to meet stringent EPR targets but also have to file returns with the Central & State Pollution Control Boards providing details on targets achieved. The Producers & Manufacturers may also choose to delegate this responsibility to a third party, a so-called producer responsibility organization (PRO), which is paid by the Producers & Manufacturers for used product management.

Most of the waste management sector is currently handled by the unorganized / informal sector in India. However due to lack of skills, knowledge, awareness, etc., the sector has remained highly labor intensive, environmentally unfriendly and unhealthy. If done in the right way, and in an organized fashion, e-waste management can become a dominant economic sector.


A PRO is a professional organization that helps Producers/Brand Owners meets their EPR targets through various processing technologies for ‘end-of-life’ applications.

In India, the concept of PRO is recognized in the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016.

PRO is defined as a professional organization authorized or financed collectively or individually by producers, which can take the responsibility for collection and channelization of e-waste generated from the ‘end-of-life’ of their products to ensure environmentally sound management of such e-waste.

Role of PRO

A PRO can assist the producers upon engagement in one or more of the following tasks–

Establishment of collection mechanism such as door to door collection.

Implementation of buy back/take back

Establishment of collection centers/points this may include setting up of collection godowns or operating through warehouses as per the guidelines issued by Central Pollution Control Board.

Logistics arrangements

Ensuring traceability of the e-waste collected and channelized & disposal of processed waste & end of life plastic waste.

Ensuring Environmentally sound dismantling and recycling.

Conducting awareness programme among consumer’s/bulk consumers/producers for collection and channelization waste

Helping producers in filing of quarterly/annual returns as per the rules.

Achieving collection targets

Provide an extended producer’s responsibility plan as legally required


Regulation of PRO by CPCB is a positive step in e-waste management process. The success of EPR and PRO depends on the upstream management, like having an effective regulatory framework highlighting the role of different stakeholders and proper guidelines for producers. PRO plays important role as it is responsible for carrying out collection, transportation and recycling on behalf of the producers.

Fundamental Understanding of e-Waste


What is e-Waste?


Old electronic equipment’s that have outlived their useful life are categorized as e-waste. On an average, in India, in case of mobile phones the useful life goes up to 2 years. In the case of PCs, it may go up to 5 years. The life of these equipment’s is extended due to reasons such as upgrade, repair and reuse, donation to charity, etc.

Table 1 : Average life of the Electrical & Electronic Equipment (EEE) is given below:

Sr. No.Categories Equipmentofelectrical        andelectronicEEE CodeAverage Life
   i.Information               technology telecommunication equipmentand  
Centralized data processing:  ITEW1 
Mainframe10 Years
Minicomputer5 Years
Personal Computing: Personal Computers (Central Processing Unit with input and output devices)ITEW26 Years
Personal Computing: Laptop Computers(Central Processing Unit with input and output devices)ITEW35 Years
Personal Computing: Notebook ComputersITEW45 Years
Personal Computing: Notepad ComputersITEW55 Years
Printers including cartridgesITEW610 Years
Copying equipmentITEW78 Years
Electrical and electronic typewritersITEW85 Years
User terminals and systemsITEW96 Years
FacsimileITEW1012 Years
TelexITEW115 Years
TelephonesITEW129 Years
Pay telephonesITEW139 Years
Cordless telephonesITEW149 Years
Cellular telephones  ITEW15 
Feature phones10 Years
Smart phones7Years
Answering systemsITEW165 Years
  ii.Consumer electrical and electronics:  
Television sets (including sets based on (Liquid Crystal Display and Light Emitting Diode technology)CEEW19 Years
RefrigeratorCEEW210 Years
Washing MachineCCEW39 Years
Air-conditioners        excluding        centralized conditioning plantsairCCEW411 Years
Fluorescent lampsandOtherMercurycontainingCEEW5——–

e-Waste Categories and Classification

E-Waste is categorized by the government of India under the broad class of hazardous waste. Within e-Waste, there are several categories such as Large and small household appliances, electrical and electronic toys and sporting equipment, tools, computers and related equipment etc.

Table 3 : Classification of e-Waste as per Government of India norms

CAT- A1Large household appliancesRefrigerators and Freezers, Other appliances used for refrigeration, conservation and storage of food , Washing machines, Clothes dryers, Dish washing machines, Cooking ranges/stoves Electric hot plates, Microwaves, Other appliances used for cooking and other processing of food, Electric heating appliances, Electric radiators, Other fanning, exhaust ventilation and conditioning equipment.
CAT – A2Small household appliancesVacuum cleaners, Carpet sweepers, Other appliances used for cleaning, Appliances used for sewing, knitting, weaving and other processing for textiles, Iron and other appliances used for ironing and other care of clothing, Toasters, Fryers, Grinders, coffee machines and equipment for opening or sealing containers or packages, Electric knives, Appliances for hair-cutting, hair drying, tooth brushing, shaving, massage and other body care appliances, Digital clocks, watches and equipment for measuring indicating or registering time Scales
CAT – A3Toys, leisure and sports equipmentElectric trains or car racing sets, Hand-held video game consoles, Video games, – Computers for biking, diving, running, rowing, etc., Sports equipment with electric or electronic components, Coin slot machines
CAT – A4Electrical and electronic tools (except large-scale stationary industrial tools)Drills, Saws, Sewing machines, Equipment for turning, milling, sanding, grinding, sawing, cutting, shearing, drilling, making holes, punching, folding, bending or similar processing of wood, metal and other materials, Tools for riveting, nailing or screwing or removing rivets, nails, screws or similar uses, Tools for welding, soldering or similar use, Equipment for spraying, spreading, dispersing or other treatment of liquid or gaseous substances by other means, Tools for mowing or other gardening activities
CAT – A5Medical devices (except implanted and infected products)     Radiotherapy equipment, Cardiology, Dialysis, Pulmonary ventilators, Nuclear medicine Laboratory equipment for in-vitro diagnosis Analysers, Freezers, Fertilization tests, Other appliances for detecting, preventing, monitoring, treating, alleviating illness, injury or disability
CAT – A6Monitoring and control instrumentsSmoke detector Heating regulators Thermostats Measuring, weighing or adjusting appliances for household or as laboratory equipment Other monitoring and control instruments used in industrial installations (e.g. in control panels)
CAT – A7Automatic dispensersAutomatic dispensers for beverages Automatic dispensers for hot or cold bottles or cans Automatic dispensers for solid products Automatic dispensers for money All appliances which deliver automatically all kind of products
CAT – B1IT and telecommunication equipment’sCentralized data processing: Mainframes, Minicomputers, Personal computing: Personal Computers (CPU with input and output devices), Laptop (CPU with input and output devices), Notebook, Notepad etc., Printers Copying equipment, Electrical and electronic typewriters Pocket and desk calculators Other products and equipment for the collection, storage, processing, presentation or communication of information by electronic means User terminals and systems Facsimile, Telex, Telephones, Pay telephones, Cordless telephones, Cellular telephones, Answering systems, And other products or equipment of transmitting sound, images or other information by Telecommunications
CAT – B2Consumer electronicsRadio sets, Television sets, Video cameras, Video recorders, Digital cameras, Hi-fi recorders, Audio amplifiers, Musical instruments, and other products or equipment for the, purpose of recording or reproducing sound or image, including signals or other technologies for the distribution of sound and image than by telecommunications



Composition of e-waste

Electrical and Electronic equipment contains metallic and nonmetallic elements, alloys and compounds such as Copper, Aluminum, Gold, Silver, Palladium, Platinum, Nickel, Tin, Lead, Iron, Sulphur, Phosphorous, Arsenic etc. If discarded in the open, these metals can cause a severe environmental and health hazard.

Table 3 : e-Waste components and its health hazards if done manually in an uncontrolled and informal method.




 MetalsToxic effects
1AntimonyIrritation of the eyes, Skin, Lungs, Heart.
2BismuthInhalation problems, Skin reactions, Sleeplessness, Depression, Rheumatic pain.
3CadmiumDamage the lungs. Bone fracture, Damage to central nervous system, Possibly DNA damage, Cancer.
4ChromiumAllergic reactions, Lung cancer Nose irritations and nosebleeds. Upset stomachs and ulcers, Kidney and liver damage Cause of Death.
5CobaltLung effects, Hair loss, Vomiting and nausea, Vision problems, Heart problems, Thyroid damage, cause of Asthma & Pneumonia
6GalliumCause throat irritation, Difficulty breathing, Chest pain, Partial paralysis.
7GermaniumHarmful for Skin, Eyes & Blood
8MolybdenumJoint pains in the knees, hands, feet
  It is Highly toxic
9NickelLung cancer, Nose cancer, Larynx cancer and Prostate cancer, Heart disorders
10SeleniumCollection of fluid in the lungs, Abdominal pain, Fever, Heart and muscle problems, Bronchial asthma, Diarrhoea, Enlarged liver, Burning, Bronchitis, Sore throat, Cause of Death
11SilverKidney, Eye, Lung, Liver, Brain damage, Anaemia
12LeadRise in blood pressure, Kidney damage, Miscarriages and subtle abortions, Brain damage, Effects fertility of men through sperm damage, Diminished learning abilities of children
13TinEye and skin irritations, Headaches, Stomachaches, Sickness and dizziness, Breathlessness, Urination problems
14Ironrisk of lung cancer
15YttriumThreat to the liver, Cause of cancer
16ZincDecreased sense of taste and smell,, Birth defects, Vomiting, Skin irritations, Stomach Cramps




Market Overview


Main buyers are smelters, plastic recyclers, glass recyclers, metal traders, metal buyers, metal exchanges etc.


The suppliers could be both household and corporate entities. It is possible to sign contracts with business houses for collection. Apart from business houses, the household Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) can be collected through a network of scrap dealers, retail outlets etc..


The informal sector forms the biggest competitor. However, it has several systemic weaknesses. Within the organized sector, the competition is still limited to just about 42 PRO in India.


E-waste is a rich source of metals such as gold, silver, and copper, which can be recovered and brought back into the production cycle. There is significant economic potential in the efficient recovery of valuable materials in e-waste and can provide income-generating opportunities for both individuals and enterprises. The E-Waste Management Rules, 2016 were amended by the government in March 2018 to facilitate and effectively implement the environmentally sound management of e-waste in India. The amended Rules revise the collection targets under the provision of EPR with effect from October 1, 2017. By way of revised targets and monitoring under the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), effective and improved management of e-waste would be ensured.

As per various numbers published by various research agencies, about 20 to 50 million tons of e-waste are generated worldwide every year. In India, 3 million tons (MT) of e-waste annually and ranks third among e-waste producing countries, after China and the United States. Reports state that it might rise to 5 million tons by 2021.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India has 312 registered E-waste recyclers with a capacity to handle 782,080.62 tons of E-waste every year. This means that if all the E-waste is routed to the authorized recyclers in India, it would take four years for the recyclers to process it. And this is after the optimistic assumption that all recyclers work at full capacity.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change rolled out the E-Waste (Management) Rules in 2016 to reduce e-waste production and increase recycling. Under these rules, the government introduced EPR which makes producers liable to collect 30 per cent to 70 per cent (over seven years) of the e-waste they produce.

Process layout

The process steps are as under :

  1. Collection
  2. Channelization
  3. Classification
  4. Logistics Arrangements
  5. Conducting awareness programmed among consumer’s/bulk consumers/producers for collection and channelization of e-waste.
  6. Helping producers in filing of quarterly/annual returns as per the rules.



Based on the above discussion, GALIPL team registers its conclusions and makes its recommendations as under :

  1. E-Waste management is a financially viable and rewarding business.
  2. The costs and revenues are fluctuating according to market conditions.
  3. Carbon Credits is another revenue source, which may be evaluated.
  4. Extended Producer Responsibility law has already been adopted in India and it is only a matter of time till it gets properly enforced. This will also ensure a much robust supply chain and a lower cost of collection.

We at Group A Logistics India Private Limited help producers to deal with their liabilities at one stop solution. Our door-to-door pickups, Buy Back Schemes, collection centers / drop points, expert warehousing and logistics makes these liabilities easier to be fulfilled.