Electronics & Electrical Waste Management – ROHS WEEE

Disposal of ewaste is a critical issue Delhi is facing today, with rapid technological growth of electronics and electrical goods. City is covered with huge toxic waste of  tonnes.
Hazardous substances used in manufacturing of Electronics & Electrical Equipments are responsible for environment pollution.

Some of these substances are:
1. Lead (Pb)
2. Mercury (Hg)
3. Cadmium (Cd)
4. Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+)
5. Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
6. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)

Above substances can be found in:
Computer and its accessories-monitors, printers, keyboards, central processing units; typewriters, mobile phones and chargers, remotes, compact discs, headphones, batteries, LCD/Plasma TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators and other household appliances.

Above mentioned substances pollutes air, soil & water and hence effect health of Plants, Animals & Humans.

Harmful Effects of Lead:

1. In Children:

  • Learning disabilities resulting in a decreased intelligence (decreased IQ)
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Behavior issues
  • Nervous system damage
  • Speech and language impairment
  • Decreased muscle growth
  • Decreased bone growth
  • Kidney damage

2. In Adults:

  • Increased chance of illness during pregnancy
  • Harm to a fetus, including brain damage or death
  • Fertility problems in both men and women
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive issues
  • Nerve disorders
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Muscle and joint pain

Such effects of hazardous substances leads to creation of ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipments) directives. From 1st May 2012, it would be illegal to dump ewaste to the local scrap dealer.

WEEE directives apply to following equipments:

  1. Large household appliances.
  2. Small household appliances.
  3. IT & Telecommunications equipment (although infrastructure equipment is exempt in some countries)
  4. Consumer equipment.
  5. Lighting equipment—including light bulbs.
  6. Electronic and electrical tools.
  7. Toys, leisure, and sports equipment.
  8. Medical devices (exemption removed in July 2011)
  9. Monitoring and control instruments (exemption removed in July 2011)
  10. Automatic dispensers.
  11. Semiconductor devices

How to solve above problem:

  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle
  • Disposal

Mayapuri, Seelampur, Shastri Park have big ewaste collection points. Informal scrap dealers are trained by organizations like Giz Ewaste to be formal & organized Ewaste managers with knowledge, certification & authorization from government. To view or submit various electronic waste collection centers available in Delhi click here.

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Puneet Verma is environmental blogger & Mission Green Delhi(MGD) crusader. MGD digital platform has been supported by 400+ environmentalists from Delhi & other parts of India.

Puneet is Acumen & Ideo.org certified Human-Centered Design professional and techie who has vast experience in managing online portfolio of big corporate brands.

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