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Task Force on e-waste

Written By mediavigil on Thursday, October 18, 2007 | 11:19 PM

A National Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Task Force was formed in July 2004, headed by Chairman CPCB and consists of officials/ representatives of MoEF, CPCB, Ministry of IT, regulatory agencies (representatives of SPCBs), NGOs, Industry Associations/Industry, experts in the field and producers both formal & informal.

The mandate of national task force is to identify, plan and implement all issues related to e-waste in India. The National WEEE Task force has five thrust areas:

Policy & Legislation: To study the feasibility and format of a legislation on the handling and recycling of e-waste, not only as an environmental protection measure, but also to keep pace with international legislations such as the WEEE Directive in the EU. Led by CPCB, this covers issues of developing quickly national guidelines allowing for starting formal recycling operations, developing 'WEEE Rules', formulating standards and licensing procedures, etc.

Baseline Study: Led by the Indo-German-Swiss eWaste Project, this covers issues of quickly generating a national overview of WEEE by creating a database and developing a National Register / Clearing House to have a sufficiently accurate view on the present e-waste recycling system throughout India. The study will assess present scenario i.e. quantification, characterisation, disposal practices and environmental impacts and based on this, make projections for future quantities of e-waste.

Restructuring Recycling: Preliminary studies in this field have shown a surprisingly vivid, complex and efficient sector for e-waste recycling. However some processes require improvements (both in skills & technologies) and some have to be abandoned altogether due to the severe risks for health and environment. These processes should be transferred to the formal sector. Led by the Indo-Swiss-German eWaste Project, this Task force covers issues of restructuring and 'cleaning up' the present recycling sector, up-grading skills and technologies, substituting risky informal processes by the formal sector, etc.

EPR: The task force, led by MAIT, covers the issues of system ownership, financing, logistics, contractual arrangements with recyclers etc within the framework of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the context of WEEE Management Systems.

Awareness Building: The current awareness levels regarding the existence and dangers of e-waste are extremely low, partly because the e-waste being generated is not as large as in developed countries. However, urgent measures are to be taken now to make consumers and manufacturers aware of e-waste. This task force covers issues of informing the public, creating awareness campaigns etc.
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