E-Waste In India – The Dark Side of Information Technology

P Saravana Kumar

Abstract


The developing countries are facing a huge challenge in the management of electronic waste (e-waste) which are either internally generated or imported illegally as ‘used’ goods. Growth of Information and Communication Technology sector has enhanced the usage of the electronic equipment exponentially. Faster obsolescence and subsequent up-gradation of electronics product, are forcing consumers to discard old products, which in turn accumulate huge e-waste to the solid waste stream. E-Waste for short or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) - is the term used to describe old or discarded appliances. It includes computers, consumer electronics etc which have been throw away of by users. E-waste contains hazardous constituent that may negatively impact the environment and affect human health if not properly managed. Due to lack of adequate infrastructure to manage wastes safely, these wastes are buried, burnt in the open air or dumped into surface water bodies. E-waste poses the most direct health risks when it degrades and the internal chemicals are released to the environment. The current practices of e-waste management in India suffer from a number of drawbacks like the difficulty in inventorisation, unhealthy conditions of informal recycling, inadequate legislation, poor awareness and reluctance on part of the corporate to address the critical issues. This new form of waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams around the world and is considered to be highly hazardous.


Keywords


E-Waste, WEEE, Hazardous Constituents

References


Basu. I. (2006), “India, The E-Wasteland”

http://www.postchronicle.com/

BAN (Basel Action Network) and SVTC (Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition) /with contributions from Toxics Link, SCOPE, and Greenpeace, China. 2002.

Details available at http://ban.org/E-waste /

IRGSSA (International Resource Group) systems South Asia Pvt. Ltd, India Country Level Study (2005).


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