From today it will be illegal to dump an old TV, mobile or laptop into the garbage bin or sell any of these to the local scrap dealer. Under the Electronic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, notified a year ago and effective from May 1, such waste must be routed to one of 73 authorised recyclers in India.
“The rules allow a consumer to dispose of his old electronic item only through three means, authorised collection centres, or directly to any authorised recycler or the manufacturer,” said an Environment Ministry official. India’s e-waste hit an all-time high estimated at around 8 lakh metric tonnes in 2012.
The law seeks to put the onus largely on manufacturers, which are supposed to pick up the item, and they have sought revisions in the draft guidelines for seeking authorisation to initiate a take-back.
“We have asked the ministry to bring about a single-point authorisation system so that a manufacturer selling his product in all states does not need to take authorisation from every state,” said an executive director of MAIT, the apex body of the IT manufacturing industry. “While the bigger manufacturers are ready for the new rule, we will be initiating a process to make the smaller manufacturers also comply.”
Non-compliance can entail imprisonment or a fine. As of now, these penalties are only for manufacturers and bulk consumers.