Overview of e-waste recycling plant setup in India
E-waste recycling plants are facilities that manage all the stages involved in electronic wasterecycling. The stages arethe storage of e-waste,segregation of usable parts, dismantling components for reuse or disposal, treatment and stabilisation of hazardous waste and finally, disposal of non-recyclable waste. Therefore, the functioning of an e-waste recycling plant includes various roles.Thus, all of the roles have their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by theCentral Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and respectiveState Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs).
To set up an e-waste recycling plant in India, one must fulfil several obligations, including complying with several environmental and pollution-control-related compliances. For instance,to set up theplant,one must meetthe legal formalities to set up a waste processing facilityandneed specific NOCs and authorisation.Thus, the specifics of the recycling plant must be decided. This step will help identify what legalities will have to be met.
Additionally, an idea of the functioning of an e-waste recycling plant can help the entrepreneur determine the scope and associated market of the sector. Moreover, the knowledge ofmandatory licences and authorisation needed to start the plantexplained below will help the entrepreneur understand the technicalities and requirements that have been made necessary to run such a facility in the country.
Requirements for e-waste recycling plant setup in India
Dismantling Infrastructure: As there is manual and mechanical dismantling, the workforce and machinery associated with it can be deployed based on the waste items required. This is so because the dismantled material is divided into two categories. The first category is waste which can be recycled, whereas the other category is reuse material. As the dismantling process is part of the recycling procedure, the dismantler needs various licenses and certificates to operate the system so that it can be ensured that there is little waste produced and the environment is safe. Waste management obligations for dismantling include proper setup, use of equipment, labelling requirements, pollution NOC and authorisation to dismantle waste from the concerned SPCB.This is an essential step when considering for e-waste recycling plant setup in India.
Recycling: E-waste composition usually found in electronic waste has been divided into various categories. The categories are usable metals (iron and steel, used for casings and frames), non-ferrous metals (copper and aluminium), glass screens, plastic waste, functional electronic components and others (rubber, wood, ceramic etc.). The e-waste recycling plant will have to work on an effective mechanism to segregate and process obsolete electronic scrap without losing many precious metals in an eco-friendly manner. As recycling and refurbishment activities can be found in the same business model, the legal obligations arising out of this activity will include obtaining authorisation to refurbish electronics, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEF&CC) licence to import, export (if applicable), Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) authorisation in case refurbished items are procured for selling in the market, pollution NOC from concerned SPCB.
Recovery: Recovery methods can also be implemented while establishing an e-waste recycling plant in India. These methods can include setups for pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy and knowledge of electrochemistry. However, mechanical processing and physical separation are the most crucial in deciding the actual processing route setting up the plant. Metal extraction and purification methods are also employed in an e-waste recycling facility.
Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF): The scrap generated in the dismantling process requires treatment, stabilisation and disposal of hazardous waste. In many cases, the recycling facilities must take the assistance of other waste treatment facilities to dispose of the non-recyclable waste profitably. For instance, disposing of hazardous waste is complex and needs a Treatment Storage and Disposal facility (TSDF). E-waste contains more than 1000 substances, many of which are highly toxic. About 70% of heavy metals, including mercury and cadmium, found in soil are of electronic origin.
Recycling Network: If the facility owner decides to include all the stages mentioned above, comprehensive planning of the management of e-waste will be needed. This will consist of the recyclable potential of e-waste, which is specific for each appliance. But skipping any of these is not the right decision when thinking about establishing an e-waste recycling plant.
Licences required for setting up an e-waste recycling plant
Setting up an e-waste recycling plant requires approaching the respective SPCB to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) as per the Air and Water Act. The NOC will be given in 2 stages, i.e. Consent to Establish (CTE) that is issued before the setting up of the facility and Consent to Operate (CTO) before the facility can start operating.
Documents Required for Consent NOC
Duly filled application form of concerned SPCB
Site plan along with a roadmap
Detailed project report
Layout plan with details of different processes and point sources of effluent discharge /air emission/solid waste/hazardous waste that may be generated
Details of finished products
Water balance, its source and its quantity required
Consent fee (as applicable)
Balanced sheet certified by a CA
Details of water and air pollution control devices
Laboratory analysis report of the trade effluent and emissions
Copy of any environmental clearance
Any other document specified in the application form
Hazardous Waste Management Authorisation
To acquire Hazardous Waste Management Authorisation, the applicant must file Form 1 at the SPCB's official site after creating a registration ID. Form 1 for authorisation for the e-waste recycling plant is to be submitted with the required documents. After receiving the application, the state pollution control board conduct a proper inquiry regarding the regulations given in the rules and inspect the document submitted by the applicant. The inspection can also be inthe form of a field visit by authorised personnel.
Documents needed with Hazardous Waste Management application
Rent, lease or any other proof of ownership
Factory or trade license
Memorandum of Association (MoA)
Article of Association (AOA)
Certificate of incorporation in case of company or LLP
Aadhar Card copy and PAN card copy of the applicant
TSDF Facility Service Authorisation
For TSDF facility authorisation,all required documents must be submitted along with duly filled Form 1. Any queries or issues in the submitted application are brought to the applicant's notice by the SPCB. The application is forwarded to the inspecting authority for site inspection. Only after a satisfactory inspection report and addressing all issues raised by the inspector will the document be forwarded to the approving authority. This process is usually completed within 120 days.
Documents required for TSDF Facility Authorisation
TSDF Facility Service can obtain authorisation from the SPCB by fulfilling all conditions and submitting the following documents -
- Duly filled Form I
- GST registration of the facility
- Copy of the Emergency Response Plan (ERP) addressing the procedures for dealing with emergencies (like spillage, accidental release or fire)
- Copy of the latest consent order granted by the SPCB
- Proof of installed Pollution Control Equipment
- Approved layout plan for the TSDF
- Copy of previous environmental clearance along with compliance report
Additional licences and permits needed by the e-waste recyclingplant
- Factory's licence
- Fire NOC
- Udyam Registration Certificate
Market overview of e-waste recycling business in India
Many of India's e-waste recyclers lack adequate facilities. Only 30% of India's 75% of e-waste is getting recycled. The collection, storage, and recycling, as well as disposal infrastructures, are in vast demand today.As per the Union Environment Ministry, India, the third largest generator of electronic waste, has only 178 registered e-waste recyclers. The state governments accredit these to process e-waste. But most of the individuals running e-waste recycling businesses in India in the informal sector are also performing dismantling. They also conduct metallurgical processes to extract precious metals without involving treatment and disposal facilities to process the waste generated.
Disposal facilities that are non-existent in the informal sector and the need of the hour are those facilities that can perform all these tasks under one roof. According to research, the global e-waste management market was worth $49,880 million in 2020. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.3% from 2021 to 2028, reaching $143,870 million by 2028. The allied market research conducted the study. The market growth for rare metals, along with their scarcity, has led to a sharp increase in their price.
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