India collected just 10 per cent of the electronic waste (e-waste) estimated to have been generated in the country 2018-19 and 3.5 per cent of that in the generated in 2017-18, said a recent report by the Central Pollution Control Board.
India generated 708,445 tonne e-waste in 2017-18 and 771,215 tonne the following fiscal, the report estimated. In 2019-20, the figure rose 32 per cent to 1,014,961 tonne.
The figures have taken into account the 21 types of electrical and electronic equipments listed in the E-Waste Management Rules, 2016. These include discarded computer monitors, mobile phones, chargers, motherboards, headphones, television sets, among other appliances.
The report published on December 18, 2020 mentioned that the collection targets for 2017-18 and 2018-19 based on the rules were 35,422 tonnes and 1,54,242 tonnes, respectively.
The actual collection, however, was lower in both the years — 25,325 tonnes in 2017-18 and 78,281 tonnes in 2018-19.
In the guidelines, the environment ministry had made the producers responsible for collection of end-of-life electronic products as part of the Extended Producer Responsibility, in line with the global best practice.
The pollution board said 1,630 producers were extended EPR authorisation as on November 26, 2020. Also, 312 dismantlers or recyclers were authorised in the same period with a capacity of processing 782,080.2 tonne of e-waste every year.
These units processd 69,413 tonnes of e-waste in 2017-18 and 164,663 tonnes in 2018-19.
In September last year, CPCB issued show-cause notices to 186 producers for not meeting collection targets for 2018-19.
The pollution control board also pulled up 292 producers in November last year because their collection centres were either non-complying or non-traceable and threatened to cancel their EPR authorisation and take action as per e-waste rules.
The report also states that the volume of e-waste that a dismantler or recycler was handling increased over time but the shed area of these units remained the same.
The rule mandates that dismantlers have a space of 300 square metre for a capacity of 1 tonne of e-waste per day. the same for recyclers is 500 square metre.
"In one instance, CPCB noted that capacity of one dismantlers increased eight times without any increase in corresponding shed area," the report said.
The board recognised the role of state pollution control boards and pollution control committees in mitigating this gap and asked them to revise the capacity of such units following CPCB guidelines.