NEW DELHI: With nearly 17 lakh tonnes of e-waste generated annually in the country, the central government today fixed responsibility of manufacturers for collection of e-waste and announced to levy financial penalty for violation of provisions under the law.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests notified the new e-waste management rules 2016 under which the manufacturer has been held responsible to collect e-waste generated during the manufacture of any electrical and electronic equipment and channelise it for recycling or disposal and seek authorization from state pollution board.
As per the new rules, lability for damages caused to the environment or third party due to improper management of e-waste including provision for levying financial penalty for violation of provisions of the Rules has also been introduced.
"Every year more than 17 lakh tonnes of such waste is generated and it is growing at a five percent rate every year and is set to grow further. Also, dismantling of e-waste is done in an unorganised way," said Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
For the first time, the producers will be brought under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and made responsible for collection of e-waste and its exchange.
"The bulk consumers must collect the items and hand them over to authorised recyclers. Various producers can have a separate Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) and ensure collection of e-waste as well as its disposal in an environmentally sound manner,” he said.
Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury containing lamp brought under the purview of rules. A Deposit Refund Scheme has been introduced as an additional economic instrument wherein the producer charges an additional amount as a deposit at the time of sale of the electrical and electronic equipment and returns it to the consumer along with interest when the end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment is returned.
"The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will give the single authorisation throughout the country," he said.
The Union Minister added the role of state governments has also been introduced to ensure safety, health and skill development of the workers involved in dismantling and recycling operations.