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March , 2012
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Workshop On E-Waste Management

Source: Toxics Link, Date: December , 2011

In the wake of the E-Waste Rules coming into force in May, 2012, Toxics Link saw the need to facilitate discussions and information exchange among the key stakeholders and organized one day workshop on 15th of December in Gurgaon. The workshop aimed to discuss the issues and challenges related to E-waste management and also look at the preparedness of different stakeholders in the city and the state to deal with the upcoming Rules.

Mr.Satish Sinha (Associate Director, Toxics Link) inaugurated the session and welcomed the participants to discuss the major issues surrounding E waste management; the new regulation promulgated by India that will come into force from May 2012, its implementation aspects and the preparedness the country has and the preparedness required. Elaborating on the challenges the country faces he said that the growth rate in the electronic industry was phenomenal leading to phenomenal rate of waste generation while the infrastructure for managing the waste continues to be the same- a network of informal sector with its own challenges and hazard.

The inaugural address was followed by a film screening on E waste titled ‘Citizens at Risk’ by Chintan, (Ngo based in New Delhi) and the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition .The film looked at the various aspects of informal sector and laid bare the global exploitation of the poor by a consumerist society.

This was followed by the first technical session where, Mrs. Priti Mahesh (Senior Programme Officer, Toxics Link) presented on ‘E Waste Global and Indian Scenario’.Mr. B. Vinod Babu (Scientist ‘D’& Incharge, Haz Waste Division CPCB), gave a brief insight into the ‘E-Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011& Environmentally Sound Management of E-Waste.’ Mr. Arjun Balakrishnan (Director Operations & Planning, Panasonic), presented on ‘India E Waste Recycling: A Producer Perspective’ where he gave an overview of the Home Appliance Recycling Law in Japan and briefed on Panasonic’s Initiatives for recycling.’

While, Mr. Satish Sinha (Associate Director, Toxics Link), presented on ‘Unraveling EPR and RoHS’, where he explained the concepts of EPR and RoHS and its application in E waste Management in great detail. He also elaborated on the essential elements of an effective EPR program.

The second technical session began with a presentation on ‘Dell’s Take Back Program’ by Mr. Deepak Ohlyan (Dell India); where he briefed on the company’s policies in electronics disposition & Dell’s global take back program. While Rachna Arora (Technical Expert, and GIZ-ASEM), briefed on ‘Integrating the Informal Sector-its Possibilities and Challenges’. Mr. Sanjay Saxena (CEO, Greenscape Eco Management), presented on the ‘Usage, Recovery of Metals and Electronic Industry Initiatives on e-recycling.’

There was a Panel Discussion on ‘Challenges of effective implementation of E Waste Rules’ chaired by Mr. Satish Sinha. The other panelist included Mr.Arjun Balakrishnan (Director Operations & Planning, Panasonic India),Mr.Sanjay Saxena (CEO,Greenscape Eco Management) and Dr. Lakshmi Raghupati (Consultant).Mr. Arjun explained the need for industry development from a holistic point of view and integration of the Informal sector bringing them into the formal loop of the recycling system.

While Dr. Lakshmi elaborated on the E Waste rule and its enforcement and said that there was a need to revisit and reformulate the guidelines as there were many grey areas. She also pointed out that the producers need to make preparation and system for appropriate channelization of waste. Mr. Sanjay Saxena stressed on the need to frame out a minimum requirement, to register a recycler. Echoing the concerns of Dr. Lakshmi, he elaborated that although there were attempts to make the forums participatory, held for the evolution of the rule, there were many loopholes on certain essential parts which needs to be plugged.

While Mr. Satish Sinha urged for the need to incentivize the organizations and the manufacturers. He further suggested that there was a need to come up with mechanisms like the collection mechanism, multi-compliance mechanism or single compliance mechanism. He said that the informal sector has a huge potential in terms of skills and expertise however, there is a need to develop different models of integration that would make the informal sector a part of the value chain.

The workshop saw an overwhelming response and the audience participated actively in the discussion adding some pertinent ideas and proposals to the panel discussion. Also some significant recommendations were made on E Waste management that included incentivizing the organizations, Awareness and Education program including the informal sector and the consumers, setting up fixed targets, integration of the informal sector and make them a part of the value chain.

There were 60 participants. The participants of the workshop included the representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board, Corporate business houses, I.T companies, EEE and recycling industry, Educational and Research Institutes, Media houses and Civil Societies.

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