A Perspective about E- Waste and the Regulations with Special Reference to SME's


Viraja P. Bhat
Prakash Rao
Yogesh Patil


Pune finds a significant place in the national as well as international scenario attributing to the educational institutes, industries and history. Pune Municipal Corporation has incorporated the Swach model, decentralized segregation and no open dumping as part of waste management. As per the recent reports approximately 17,000 tons of waste generated only 950 tons is segregated. The major challenges faced by the corporation are lack of the formal Scrap dealers, non-segregation at source and participation of the stakeholders and availability of landfills in managing the waste.  Managing wet waste is comparatively easy as compared to the solid waste due to the presence of EOL electronic products( e-waste) along with plastics, glass, metals etc.

Pune houses a many SME's catering to different requirements and these SME's use a variety of diverse electronics equipment's like computers, printers, fax machines, electronic watches, inverters, TV, mobiles and many more. Undoubtedly these SME's get benefited by the use of ICT and related electronic products which ease many business processes and operations. The lack of knowledge about handling the EOL electronic products and legislation the products are found in second hand market and finally add to the solid waste which find their way to the dumping ground. The difficulty of treating these EOL products increases due to their toxic and complex nature pose a serious threat to human health and environment Landfilling the solid waste with e-waste is a serious issue not only locally but also at global level which needs attention and involvement of all stakeholders in the cradle to grave cycle of e- products.

E-Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2011 enforced by Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India focus on the EPR(Extended Producers Responsibility) clause which puts the onus of handling the obsolete e-products on the bulk consumers and the producers for with clear role definitions . It is mandatory for all the business organizations to give details of e-waste inventory. It is followed by big business organizations but many small and medium businesses go untraced here.  The authors in the present paper attempt to understand the current scenario of e-waste with perspective to SME's as bulk consumers. The primary data collected is from more than 40 small and medium businesses show that e-waste awareness is relatively good, but lack of understanding of EPR ,effects of improper disposal, lack of infrastructure lead these items to either second hand markets , or scrap dealers and finally land up in landfills. The involvement of the small and medium houses is the need of the hour in understanding their roles handling e-waste in an environmental friendly by means implementation of sustainable model for E-waste management.