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e-Giants Getting compliant to 2011 e-waste rules

When more than 90% of the e-waste disposal is being done informally and informal players are giving more cash back facility as against the formal e-waste recyclers, it is tough to implement the e-waste 2011 policy. What are the challenges? How are big e-companies dealing with the e-waste policy?

It is not easy – neither for a recycler nor an e-consumer – to be 100% compliant of e-waste policies because of a flourishing secondary recycling market running on short term profits. Long run profits that include environmental concerns at different stages of the e-waste recycling chain, including illegal extraction of precious metals causing highly dangerous and toxic emissions must be addressed to keep the biz cycle on.

While development of appropriate framework conditions in support of the informal sector taking into account their constraints & resources are much desired, large MNCs have successfully developed broad building blocks federating capacity building at various stages of the e-waste value chain and monitoring and evaluation of the model in different baseline situations.

IBM: Take Back for Recycling

Many countries, including India, require manufacturers to create Product Take Back (PTB) programs free of charge for consumers. This offer includes disposal and recycling of certain electronic equipment the manufacturers make and sell into the market, including personal computers, computer monitors, peripherals and related accessories.

Within India, IBM has selected E-Parisaraa Pvt Ltd to manage the collection and recycling of IBM products which have become e-Waste. Neither IBM nor E-Parisaraa charge a collection or recycling fee and, depending on the technology of the product being returned, it is possible that customers may receive a reimbursement from E-Parisaraa for disposal. It is important to note that transportation of the E-Waste to collection centres is the responsibility of the asset owner. Please follow the directions provided below to return your IBM logoed computer products, peripherals and accessories for recycling.

For convenience, E-Parisaraa does offer special at-home collection services on a limited number of cases, and may do so at a charge to the customer. The company (E-Parisaraa) has its collection centres across all the four zones in India.

Some of the components of e-waste contain materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, polychlorinated bi-phenyls (PCBs), etched chemicals, brominated flame retardants which may be hazardous in nature. Therefore, the entire procedure of collection and disposal of e-waste must be in compliance with The E waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2011 ( http://moef.nic.in/downloads/rules-and-regulations/1035e_eng.pdf) to prevent such hazardous materials from being released into the environment. The dealers should have valid Air Consent, Water Consent and Hazardous waste authorization. This authorization is given based on the competency of the recycler, infrastructure and other factors, as decided by the regulatory authorities.

IBM only deals with fully authorized collectors and recyclers. It provides customers the facility to give back IBM manufactured products at their end of life so that they are properly recycled/disposed. Historically, IBM’s asset recovery programs and its downstream partners recycle in excess of 97% of the total weight of equipment collected.

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