What is e-waste, Meaning, Definition, Reasons, Safe treatment, and disposal of e-waste

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The electronic revolution has made our life full of conveniences. Due to various electronic inventions, along with expanding the communication system and encouraging business activities, employment opportunities have also increased. The manufacture of electronic devices like computers, refrigerators, air-conditions, cellular phones, washing machines, cameras, etc. has given a new dimension to human civilization, but today a large number of these perishable electronic items have created a new form in the form of e-waste. has given rise to environmental problems.

When we replace the electronic equipment after using it for a long time, then use another new device after it gets damaged, then this unusable defective device is called e-waste. For example, computers, mobile phones, printers, photocopy machines, inverters, UPS, LCD/television, radio, digital camera, etc. Most of the components used in electronic items do not have the property of being biodegradable nor do they have the property of being soluble in soil. E-waste mainly contains iron, zinc, aluminum, lead. Metals like tin, silver, gold, arsenic, gilt, chromium, cadmium, mercury, indium, selenium, vanadium, ruthenium are found.

Reasons for the origin of e-waste

The reason for the generation of e-waste is the increasing population and its needs. Apart from this, there are some other reasons which together are making it a big threat. There is a saying that too much of anything is a disaster in itself. Following are the main reasons for the generation of e-waste

Excessive use of computer

If we talk about the present time, then it is clear that there are more than 1 trillion personal computers in the world. Whereas in developed countries their average duration is 2 years. Not only in developed but also in developing countries, the use of computers has increased a lot, due to which the sale of computers has also increased in these countries. Many computers fall out of use over time, so they only exist as e-waste. In such a situation, if measures are not taken about the proper disposal of e-waste, then they can become a big threat in the future.


The present era is the era of technology, due to which the use of technology has increased rapidly. Due to new technology, new electronics products are coming in the market, due to which people no longer want to use old items even though they are not spoiled. Therefore, due to new and advanced technology, the trend of electronic items is increasing, which is increasing the problem of e-waste.

Person’s mindset

Such a mentality of man is being formed that when new things come, he does not want to use old things, because new things become the reason for everyone’s attraction. This fact seems to be true with respect to electronic products. Due to economic prosperity, people want to use new things more in place of their old ones. In this way, old products are later converted into e-waste.

Growing population

Due to the increasing population, the number of useful items has increased significantly. In conclusion, the amount of e-waste has also increased significantly due to this.

Impact of e-waste

E-waste is harmful in various forms. Being not biodegradable, it has fatal effects on human health. Its effect can be understood by the following facts

Effect on air

E-waste is the main cause of air pollution. Many such items come in e-waste, which people burn to get them, due to which the air is polluted, which has a bad effect on human health. Wires, blenders, etc. are examples of this type of e-waste. Of

Effect on water

If electronics goods, containing heavy metals; Such as lead, barium, mercury, lithium, etc., if not disposed of properly, then they mix in the soil and reach the groundwater channel, which in turn adversely affects the groundwater. Due to which people become victims of many types of water-borne diseases due to using polluted water.

Impact on soil

If e-waste is not disposed of properly, the heavy metals and chemicals in it can enter our “soil-crop-food pathway”, causing these heavy metals to come into contact with humans. Chemicals are not biodegradable, so they remain present in the environment for a long time, due to which the risk of exposure increases to a great extent. Liver, kidney, etc. get damaged. Along with this, children are born with disabilities. It can be said that this pollutes the soil, which can take a fatal form later.

Safe treatment and disposal of e-waste

Safe treatment and disposal of e-waste can be done mainly in 5 ways, which are as follows

1) Secure landkilling

The e-waste is buried in the ground by making pits in the flat ground and dumping the e-waste in it. However, for safe disposal of e-waste, the pits should be covered with a thick sheet of plastic (HDPE) and sealed keeping the surface protected.

2) Incineration

In this process, the e-waste is burnt in a completely closed chamber inside the incinerator at a temperature of 900 to 1000 degree centigrade, due to which the amount of e-waste in it is greatly reduced and the toxicity of the organic matter present in it also decreases. . The smoke and gas coming out of the chimney installed in the incinerator is passed through Air Pollution Control System (APCS) and various types of metals present in the smoke are separated by chemical reaction and the gases are treated. milf hard

3) Recycling

Various electronic waste in this method; Devices such as monitors, keyboards, laptops, picture tubes, telephone drives, fax machines, printers, CPUs, modems, cables, etc. can be recycled. In this process, various metals and plastics are broken apart and stored in a protected drive, CD, for reuse.

4) Recovery of metal by acid

Various types of parts from e-waste; For example, ferrous and non-ferrous metals and printed circuit boards are separated. It contains a variety of metals; For the recovery of metals like lead, copper, aluminum, silver, gold platinum etc., they are separated by using concentrated acid. Residual plastic waste is recycled for reuse.

5) Reuse

Old electronic equipment is repaired and made for reuse; Such as a Computer, Laptop, Mobile, Transistor, Television, inverters, Printer, etc. In this way, the equipment can be repaired and reused through this process.

E-waste problem in India

The global volume of waste was 44.7 million tonnes in 2016, which is expected to reach 55.2 million tonnes by 2021. India generates about 20 lakh tonnes of e-waste every year. India is among the top five countries that generate the most e-waste in the world. Apart from India, China, America,
There are Japan and Germany.

According to the report released by leading commerce and industry body ‘Assocham’ and NEC (National Economic Council) in June, 2018, Maharashtra (19.8%) contributes the most to e-waste in India, followed by Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. is in third place. Computer equipment accounts for about 70%, telecommunications equipment 12%, electrical equipment 8%, medical equipment 7% and the rest of household goods 4% in the e-waste content.

E-waste Management Measures in India

It is noteworthy that the trade of e-waste was banned by the Supreme Court in the year 1997, but even today it is being imported in large quantities secretly, due to which there is a problem in its management. It is to be known that waste management refers to that whole chain, which includes the complete processes from the creation of waste to its collection and transportation, processing and disposal. Laws related to e-management in India were enacted in the year 2011, in which provisions like minimizing waste, implementing processes like reuse and recycling and reducing external waste have been included.

This rule imposes an obligation on the manufacturer of electronic equipment to take back its unusable equipment from the customer after use. There is also a provision that manufacturers should sell such waste only to an organization that is licensed to dispose or recycle them.

In addition, the manufacturer is instructed to put a special mention label on such electronic product which is hazardous to the environment. .

The manufacturers of these products have also been directed by this manual to submit an annual statement on the disposal of e-waste to the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
As per the rules, no manufacturer can keep e-waste in his premises for more than three months. There is also a provision in the rules to stop the import of e-waste coming to India from abroad. . .

In this direction, by notifying the E-Waste (Management and Disposal) Rules, some changes were made in the rules to overcome the practical difficulties in the implementation of E-Waste Management Rules, which became effective from the year 2016. It states that this rule will be applicable to every manufacturer, producer, consumer, seller, etc. and it will be necessary to train the workers for the disposal of e-waste. .

The informal sector will be formalized. The government has amended the e-waste rules for eco-friendly and effective management of e-waste in the country. In this context, the following are the salient features of the E-Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2018.

The newly set targets for e-waste collection have been considered effective from October 1, 2017. The collection target of e-waste at various stages is fixed at 10% of the weight generated during 2017-18, which will increase at the rate of 10% per annum till the year 2023. After 2023, this target will be 70% of the total waste generated. If the years of sales operation of a producer will be less than the average age of its products, then separate targets for e-waste collection will be set for such new e-producers. The average life of the products shall be determined by the Central Pollution Control Board from time to time.

An e-waste clinic has been opened by the Government of India for the disposal of e-waste. India’s first such e-waste clinic for segregation, processing and disposal of domestic and commercial units has been opened in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh under a pilot project on January 24, 2020. For this an MoU has been signed between the Central Pollution Control Board and Bhopal Municipal Corporation. In this, electronic waste will either be collected door-to-door or can be deposited directly in the clinic by individuals. If successful, it will be implemented across the country.


Thus, to reduce the problem of e-waste and to avoid its side effects, emphasis should be given on the concept of Green PC, which will reduce the power consumption in such produced computers, as well as they will not harm the environment as much. Only environmentally friendly non-toxic materials are used in the manufacturing components of Green PC. Attention should be paid to the manufacture of computers whose components can be recycled. Along with this, emphasis should be laid on manufacturing such items which are pollution free, environmentally friendly and based on the concept of waste recycling. As in the year 2017, a team of scientists used waste toilet paper to generate renewable electrical energy.

Therefore, there is a need to strictly follow the law to reduce e-waste in the country, but along with the government, the awareness of the consumers is also very important. If both the government and the public become aware, then surely the problem of e-waste can be got rid of in future. In this direction, the responsibility of the manufacturer and the consumer of the equipment will prove to be a very important initiative.