One of the fastest growing manufacturing industries in India as well as the world over is the production of electronic and electrical instruments. And as its production grows, the creation of e waste also grows in tandem with it. In fact, this highly hazardous form of waste has now become one of the fastest growing waste streams across the globe.
India ranks high as a major producer of e waste globally. The top ten e waste producing states in our country are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. If the e waste is not disposed in time, it will easily lead to a very grave situation for the country. There are a few waste disposal methods that are observed in India, the most important one being recycling of e waste. Glance through the following to understand how they can dispose e waste:
Recycling of e waste
A big chunk of Indian population has access to mobile phones, laptops and desktops, which when old and discarded, form e waste. If it is not tackled in the proper manner, can lead to several serious health hazards. The most effective solution to the growing e waste problem is recycling raw materials from rejected electronics.
A variety of materials, including metals that can be reused constitute most electronic devices. Air and water pollution can be avoided and natural resources conserved if these electronics are dismantled and provided with reuse possibilities. A huge variety of products can come under the possibility of recycling, such as monitors, keyboards, laptops, hard drives, floppy drives, modems, telephone boards, compact disks, mobiles, fax machines, printers, CPUs, memory chips, connecting wires and cables.
Different parts comprising hazardous substances such as PCB, Hg, separation of plastic, removal of CRT, segregation of ferrous and non-ferrous metals and printed circuit boards are dismantled at the start of the recycling process. Toxic substances like cadmium, palladium, rhodium and lead solder are contained in electronic equipment, which, if thrown away without being recycled, can leak into the environment leading to contamination. It can also cause diseases such as nervous system damage, damage of the heart, kidneys, liver, as well as skin and bone diseases.
Strong acids are used to remove valuable metals like lead, copper and gold. The e waste composition can be quite varied across different categories of electrical equipment. It contains more than a thousand different elements in it. As the population of India is on an upward spiral, with dependence on technology increasing with every passing day, e waste is also rising by leaps and bounds. The present dump yards are already overflowing with waste and there are no chances of getting fresh dumping yards owing to scarcity of land. It is therefore very important to recycle electronic and electrical equipment in India.
Reusing e waste
In order to reduce the volume of e waste generation, reusing of equipment after little modifications is a method of waste disposal in India. Usually used for computers and cell phones, this can be effective for reducing e waste.
It is one of the methods of e waste disposal in India, although it can invariably pose serious threats to the environment.
A controlled combustion process, this is a method in which the waste material is burned in specially designed incinerators at a very high temperature. It reduces the waste volume and some of the environmentally hazardous substances are transformed into less hazardous ones.