Overview of E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016
E-Waste (Management) Ruleswere enacted in Indiaon the 1st of October 2016. The rules lay down the responsibilities of stakeholders like the manufacturer, producer, collection centres, dealers, refurbishers, consumers or bulk consumers, dismantlers, recyclers, state government and environment agencies. The rules also define various terms and introduce vital changes that were missing from the E-waste Handling Rules of 2011. The key responsibilities of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and Pollution Control Committee(PCC) have also been defined.
The E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, have been updated from time to time. The collection and recycling targets were also introduced for the producers/importers and brand owners (PIBOs)through the amendment in 2018. These rules,along with the Hazardous Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, also focus on the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste.Furthermore, the rules have also elaborated the post-compliance for entities involved in the handling of e-waste.
Applicability of E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016
Compared to the E-waste (Handling) Rules of 2011 that covered only Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) in Schedule I, new rules introduced in 2016 extend to components, consumables, spares and parts of EEE and equipment. The likely implication was that the bulk of e-waste comprises components, consumables, spares and parts of EEE, which were not getting addressed in previous rules entailing the scope of the channelisation of hazardous e-waste to the informal sector.
The E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, focussed on the scientific management of certain electronic items like Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury-containing lamps that contain hazardous and toxic components. This helped consider the lack of regulation for managing CFL and other mercury-containing lamps. CFL has been included in Schedule I of the E-waste Management Rules.
The exemption provided under E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016
The exemption to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) obligation was given to the micro and small industry sector as defined in Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME)Developmental Act, 2006. This continued in the 2016 rules. However, small enterprises, which are referred to as one of the major sources of e-waste, have been included in the rules for responsibility as manufacturers without burdening them with EPR responsibility as applicable to producers.
Collection mechanism under E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016
Earlier, the collection centre were set up by the producer or any person, agency, or association to collect e-waste. After the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, the collection was made the producer's responsibility. They can now set up a collection centre or point or arrange a take-back or buy-back mechanism. Also, in the 2011 version of the rules, separate authorisation from SPCBs for setting up such collection centres was necessary. But, now, the EPR plan of the producer indicates that collection means no separate authorisation.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) under E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016
Earlier, the producers were required to obtain authorisation from SPCB/PCCs for implementing their EPR. After the E-Waste Management Rules of 2016 came into effect, a single EPR Authorisation through CPCBwas introduced. EPR not only manages to make the producers responsible for the entire life cycle of the product, but it also underlines the collection and recycling targets for them. The roles and responsibilities of the ProducerResponsibility Organisation (PRO) have also been mentioned in the rules to ensure pan-India implementation of EPR for EEE products introduced by PIBOs.
Authorisation and licences that are mandatory under the E-waste Management Rules are therefore essential for any business related to manufacturing, sale, import, recycling and disposal of end-of-life EEE. Obtaining all licences can be time-consuming and hectic for entrepreneurs who want to focus on growing their businesses. Such businesses usually require expert assistance and guidance to fulfil their licencing and authorisation requirements and EPR obligations.
Licences and documents needed under theE-waste (Management) Rules, 2016
Business Registration: Registering an e-waste management business will give the unit the legal identity and obtain further licences and authorisation needed. Documents required for company registration are-
- ID Proof (Aadhaarcard or Voter ID or passport or driver's license)
- Address proof
- Latest month's savings bank statement or telephone bill in his name or the latest mobile bill or electricity bill in his name
- Latest passport size photograph, email id, mobile numbers linked with Aadhaar
- Registered office address proof: latest electricity bill
- No-objection letter from the landlord
- Rental agreement from the landlord if the premises are rented
- Company email id
Consent NOC: Consent No Objection Certificate (NOC) is given to industrial facilities according to the CPCB's list. As the list is divided into three categories,i.e. red, yellow, green and white, the applicant must ensure which colour category their unit falls under and apply accordingly. Although consent NOC has been made mandatory under the Air and Water Act, it must be noted that the stakeholders managing electronic waste under the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 will also have to abide by the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, Air Act and the Water Act.
Documents required for the NOC include
- Duly filled application form of the concerned SPCB
- Signed undertaking
- Site plan
- Detailed project report
- Layout plan with details
- Details of finished products
- Rent/lease agreement
- Industry registration documents
- Consent fee (as applicable)
- Any other document specified in the application form
- Details of water pollution control/air pollution control devices and solid waste/hazardous waste management facilities provided (their location on the premises, capacity and exit points)
- Lab analysis report of the trade effluent and emissions
- Copy of any environmental clearance or other permission required from the state government
- Any other document specified in the CTO application form
REGISTRATION PROCESS SECTION
Documentation and application fee
The applicant must submit a form specific to the type of authorisation and the regulation but with all required documents to the environmental agency (SPCB/PCC or CPCB). This must be accompanied by a comprehensive EPR Plan for the collection, dismantling or recycling of the e-waste accordingly.
Document scrutiny by the authorities
The CPCB or SPCB approves or rejects the application based on the declaration in the form. If approved, the applicant will need to get their site inspected by authorities. In case of incomplete applications or any issues, the applicant will be given a flagged timeframe to resolve such issues.
Issuance of EPR authorisation
CPCB or SPCB/PCC authorises or permits the facility to perform within a time-bound manner. In case of amendment in rules, a revised NOC is issued.
Scope of E-waste Management Businesses
Electronic waste or e-waste has been one of the fastest-growing waste streams in India in the last decade. As this e-waste is a complex composition of more than 1000 elements, managing the end–of–life waste becomes quite essential. Broadly, the waste consists of ferrous and nonferrous metals, plastics, wood and plywood, printed circuit boards, concrete and ceramics, rubber and other items. The improper management of these wastes generates multi-dimensional concerns along various lines, with special mention of the environment and health.
Changes brought by the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016
The e-waste, when left unregulated, released hazardous waste and leachates that were contaminating soil and, in turn affecting the groundwater table. It led down to the food chain, affecting animals and humans at different levels. In addition to that, the smoke after burning e-waste causes air pollution. The E-waste (Management & Handling) Rules of 2011 were created to deal with this comprehensively. E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, later replaced it. For instance, apart from producers, dismantlers and recyclers of e-waste, these rules were expanded to the manufacturers, dealers, refurbishers and PROs. The changes to these rules aimed to address the problem of leakage of e-waste into the informal sector at all stages of channelisation.
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