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  • Provide a sustainable model for mobile phone recycling business as per the Acts
  • Aid in documentation with the Pollution Control Board
  • Keeping the business up to date on the recent developments in the compliances

Overview of the Mobile Phone Recycling Business

Mobile phones have become a requirement in everybody’s life, especially after COVID. In a lockdown, everyone was using mobile to conduct their daily work, whether studying or conducting official meetings. According to the latest statistics released in 2022, the figure relating to smartphone users worldwide is around 6.648 billion, which, if calculated, amounts to 83.37 per cent of the world’s population. Further, it is estimated that in 2025, 7.49 billion of the total population will have mobile phones. With this huge amount of the population using mobile phones, it is guaranteed that the waste related to this will also skyrocket. Thus, there is a strong need for a mobile phone recycling business, especially in India.

According to the telecom analysis firm counterpoint research, India is the largest smartphone market after China, with around 650 million total mobile users. It is also estimated that personal devices constitute around 82 per cent of e-waste generated in India. Moreover, another report indicates that out of the total e-waste generated in India, computer equipment amounts to 70 per cent, followed by mobile phones - at 12 per cent. Furthermore, electrical equipment amounts to8 per cent, medical equipment - 7 per cent and household e-waste - the remaining. Although most of this e-waste is recycled or handled by the informal sector, it instigates more pollution and environmental damage.

Therefore, it is said earlier also that there is an urgent need to establish a Mobile Phone Recycling Business for proper regulation and management of this gadget.

Market Overview of Mobile Phone Recycling Business

According to the market overview reports on the mobile phone recycling business, it is clear that there is an urgent need, which is now being realised by the world as well. According to statistics for the e-waste management business, the market size for EWM globally was valued at $49,880 million in 2020. It is estimated to increase to $143,870 million by 2028, recording the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.3 per cent from 2021 to 2028. Additionally, if we look specifically at the mobile phone recycling business, it has recorded aCAGR of 18.92% from 2021 to 2028.

Benefits of Mobile Phone Recycling Business

Establishing mobile phone recycling business has many benefits apart from contributing to the growth of India’s GDP. Some of the benefits are: -

  • When recycling a 1-ton mobile phone waste, approximately 300 grams of gold, 140 kilogram of copper, and 140 grams of palladium and platinum are extracted.
  • Upon recycling the phones' battery, cobalt, copper and other such metal are recovered for resale.On the other hand, other recovered components can be used in cement factories, road building materials and smelting work.
  • Circuit board of mobile phones also contain gold and silver, which are further used as raw materials in other industries.

The process adopted in Mobile Phone Recycling Business

Recycling mobile phones, whether normal cell phones or smartphones, remains similar. Following the four main steps involved in the process are usually carried out at the mobile phone recycling business: -

  1. Dismantling and sorting
  2. Recycling the battery of mobile phones. The batteries are made of lithium-ion and their polymer and are reprocessed through pyrolysis heat treatment.
  3. Recycling mobile circuit boards. This step involves the following equipment: -
    • A soldering guns/hot bar
    • Vacuum tools or specialised conviction
    • Solder baths
    • Infrared heating
    • Forced hot air
  4. Recycling the plastic which follows the process:-
    • Plastic collection
    • Manual sorting
    • Chipping
    • Washing
    • Pelleting

Channelisation process followed by Mobile Phone Recycling Business

Recycling or reprocessing is not a single-step procedure, but it has many channels with one or more operations. The first step or phase is the gathering and consolidation of mobile phone waste. This step is either done by the Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) employed by producers or by the informal sector, that is, kabadiwalas(Waste Collector). The second step is the treatment or recycling phase, which is explained above. Both these steps are indispensable for the mobile phone recycling business.

Authorisation/licenses that are required for establishing Mobile Phone Recycling Business

To start a Mobile Phone Recycling Business, the owner has to acquire a few consents and licenses as detailed under the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016 and their implementation guidelines prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). These authorisations are approved by the CPCB, SPCB, or other applicable Ministry or government authorities. The authorisations needed are: -

GST Certificate

Document required for GST Certificate

  • Incorporation certificate authorised by MCA
  • PAN Card
  • MOA
  • AOA
  • Applicant’s Aadhaar card
  • Address proof
  • Bank details

Company license for Mobile Phone Recycling Business

Documents required for establishing mobile phone recycling business are -

  • PAN Card
  • Address proof, such as
    • Passport
    • Election or Voter Identity card
    • Ration card
    • Driving license
    • Electricity bill
    • Telephone bill
    • Aadhaar card
  • Residential proof, such as
    • Bank statement
    • Electricity bill
    • Telephone bill
    • Mobile bill
  • GST Registration Certificate
  • MOA (Memorandum of Association)
  • AOA (Article of Association)

MSME Registration for Mobile Phone Recycling Business

The mobile phone recycling business ownermust apply on the official portal to procure MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) registration. This is followed bysubmitting the authorised documents. 

Documents needed for MSME Registration

  • Applicant’sofficial name
  • Name and type of enterprise
  • Aadhaar card
  • PAN card
  • The NIC Code
  • Account details
  • The social category of the applicant
  • The business operations of the enterprise
  • Date of Incorporation of a business
  • Details related to employment

Authorisation for Mobile Phone Recycling Business

Particulars of the application that is to be submitted to the SPCB for establishing mobile phone recycling business are -

  • Name and address of the mobile recycling unit
  • Contact of recycler
  • Date of authorising
  • Total workers
  • Consents validity (Under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981)
  • Mobile recycling procedure
  • Installed capacity (in metric tons per year)
  • E-waste handled during the last three year
  • Waste management
  • Waste generation
  • Details of residue disposal
  • Name of the TSDF (Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility) utilised
  • Projected e-waste acquired
  • Occupational or health safety
  • Copy of arrangement with producer (in case of dismantler)
  • Copy of contract with the Collection Centre (in case of dismantler)
  • Information on storing for dismantling
  • Copy of contract with the recycler (in case of dismantler)
  • Particulars of the facilities for recycling
  • Copy of contract with the Collection Centre (in case of recycler)
  • Copy of contract with Producers (in case of recycler)
  • Info on storage for raw material mended

Consent to Establish(CTE) and Consent to Operate(CTO) (under the Air and Water Acts)

Obtaining both consent certificates is mandated under the Acts mentioned above. This adheres to related steps of uploading the application on the online portal of the PCB of either state or union territory. The approved documents must accompany the application. An assessment of the application then follows this. After that, an inspection of the recycling site takes place by the sanctioned officer. S/hemakes the report according to the inspection. At last, the certificate is granted.

Documents required for consent certificates

  • Industry Department Certificate
  • SSI certificate
  • The layout/site plan
  • Total open land
  • Details on channelisation
  • Total constructed area
  • Water usage breakdown
  • DG specifications
  • The project report
  • Raw material list with daily MTD/monthly quantity
  • Registration proof of the unit
  • Boiler type, fuel used and quantity
  • Specifics on air pollution controls
  • Effluent/Sewage Treatment Plant flow diagram
  • Product/by-product list with daily MTD/monthly quantity
  • Factory/Trade license
  • Authorisation letter
  • Permission from the state's groundwater authority
  • PAN card
  • The Aadhar card
  • Municipality or Industry license
  • Site plan
  • Water bill

How can Enterclimate assist you?

Individualised legal assistance

Our legal experts support obtaining a license for a Mobile phone recycling business.


Aid in annual report filing

We offer complete guidance exclusively to your dedicated needs. Our team of professionals also provide help in annual report filing. 

Support on filing for renewal

Our team of professionals also provide thorough service for filing a renewal application for a Mobile phone recycling business license.


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