The regulations outlined in the E-Waste Management Rules 2022 apply to various entities involved in the manufacturing, sale, transfer, purchase, collection, storage, and processing of e-waste or electrical and electronic equipment. This includes manufacturers, producers, consumers, bulk consumers, collection centres, dealers, e-retailers, refurbishers, dismantlers, and recyclers. By the E-Waste Management Rules, refurbishment is defined as a process that enhances the quality of used electrical and electronic equipment listed in Schedule I, extending its lifespan while preserving its genuineness and originality.As defined within these rules, a refurbisher refers to any company or undertaking registered under the Factories Act, 1948 or the Companies Act, 1956, or both, or a district industries centre engaged in refurbishing used electrical and electronic equipment. The primary distinction between recycling and refurbishment lies in the utilisation of resources. However, both these businesses will be required to register on the CPCB EPR Portal under the E-waste Management Rules. In contrast, an e-waste Refurbisher licence will be needed if the business reuses the existing e-waste components in refurbishing the products.
Refurbishing e-waste has the added advantage of replacing new materials with older ones. Customers familiar with the technology generally do not notice any difference in quality between refurbished and original products. In contrast, recycling often requires procuring new materials, while refurbishment utilises second-generation materials in manufacturing.
Refurbishment involves removing or repairing non-functional components, ultimately generating e-waste. In some cases, specific equipment may not be financially viable for refurbishment, leading to their classification as e-waste. Hence, it becomes the responsibility of the Refurbisher to appropriately dispose of the generated e-waste by the provisions specified in the E-Waste Management Rules. The scope of the E-waste Refurbisher encompasses upgrading a wide range of products, such as computers, laptops, mobile devices, LED, television sets, refrigerators, and washing machines, along with their components, consumables, parts and spares necessary for their functionality.
The following requirements must be fulfilled for setting up a Refurbishing business:
The Refurbisher’s responsibilities include the following:
The categories of E-Waste are as follows:
Before starting a refurbisher business, it is important to be aware of the hazardous nature of electronic waste and its impact on human health and environmental degradation in India. Presently, India is ranked as the fifth-largest producer of E-waste globally. Experts estimate that over 1 million tons of electronic waste is generated in India annually. Additionally, a significant quantity of electronic products is imported from other countries, and when these products reach the end of their life, or their quality deteriorates, they contribute to the E-waste stream.
There are several categories of electronic items that contribute to E-waste each year, including:
Understanding these categories and their respective contributions to E-waste is crucial for those venturing into the refurbishment business.
The process of applying for an E-waste Refurbisher licence is as follows
Below are the documents required to be submitted:
Refurbishment is widely acknowledged as a more advantageous approach compared to recycling products. Its benefits extend beyond reducing e-waste; it also enhances the lifespan and functionality of the products. Consequently, refurbishment is preferable as it helps promote the circular usage of products in the economy instead of discarding the non-functional products as waste that leads to the loss of valuable resources and poses a potential risk to the environment. While starting a refurbishment business, it is advisable to seek the assistance of licencing and EPR experts during the E-waste Refurbisher licence application for precise guidance towards fulfilling EPR and other legalities associated with refurbishment.
Certified refurbished products typically refer to pre-owned items that have been returned by customers.
After being returned, products that undergo refurbishment by the manufacturer undergo a thorough testing procedure to ensure they meet the manufacturer’s quality standards.
Irrespective of the specific terminology used, purchasing refurbished products is a favourable option because refurbished products have undergone restoration to ensure they are in complete working condition.
Yes, refurbished products are still original, as they undergo the same rigorous testing process, which enables any defects to be identified, repaired, and any faulty components to be replaced, ensuring that the refurbished product meets the required quality standards.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests employing certified electronic recyclers to handle the disposal of unwanted or used electronic devices.
With a well-crafted and clearly defined plan, the e-waste recycling business model can become profitable relatively quickly.
To commence an e-waste recycling business, it is necessary to submit various mandatory documents to obtain approval from the Pollution Control Board (PCB).
Obtaining EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility), Authorization is compulsory for electronic and electrical products such as laptops, computers, telephones, printers, washing machines, batteries, chargers, and more.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) refers to the responsibility placed on Indian manufacturers or importers of electronic products to manage and handle e-waste. An EPR Certificate is mandatory for these manufacturers or importers as part of their commitment to proper e-waste management practices.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a government policy that assigns significant responsibility to producers to treat and dispose of consumer goods.
Read our Article: Overview Of The Authorisation For Export Of E-Waste