Electronic waste or e-waste is a huge concern globally. As per a report by United Nations at the World Economic Forum, nearly 48.5 MMT (Million Metric Ton) of e-waste was generated globally in 2018, worth around USD 62 billion, and this number is expected to jump over threefold to 180 MMT by 2025, growing at 30% CAGR.
India, one of the fastest developing nations, generates over 3 MMT of e-waste annually and this number is expected to reach 10 MMT by 2025. India has over 312 government recognised e waste collection, dismantling and recycling facilities and, though, there are stringent rules in place for e-waste disposal in the country, only 2%of the overall e-waste is disposed in a structured manner to minimise any environmental impact.
Manish Joshi of NewsBarons connects with B K Soni, a pioneer in the e-waste disposal industry and Founder of Ecoreco, who also is credited for setting up India’s first e waste disposal facility, informs ‘We are building communication channels and using online properties for people to dispose their growing e-waste appropriately & seamlessly’.
NB: What is e-waste?
B K Soni: Any electrical and electronic equipment that has crossed its life cycle or has become non functional or obsolete can be defined as e waste. These items consist of hazardous substances like mercury, cadmium and chromium along with iron, steel, glass and plastic and require to be disposed through structured dismantling to avoid any contamination with air, water and soil.
Majority of the e-waste in India is still disposed through unorganised channels, creating a huge environment threat.Unorganised players do not have the awareness or the technology knowledge for proper e waste disposal. This is a huge environmental concern that can directly impact human life.
NB: What is the size of the e-waste industry in India?
B K Soni: The Indian e-waste industry stands at nearly INR 20,000 crore and growing at the rate of 25% annually. Apart from the massive unorganised sector, India has 312 government recognised e waste facilities for collection, pre-processing, dismantling,shredding, mechanical separation and recycling. At the same time, only 10 recycling facilities out of the 312 have the required technology and infrastructure for seamless operations.
NB: Tell us about Ecoreco?
B K Soni: Ecoreco is amongst the first few companies in the e-waste sector that built capabilities to meet the growing e waste challenge in India. With over 15 years in operations, our technological capabilities are at par with leading nations in managing, disposing and recycling of e waste products.We have a large facility to manage 7200 MT of e-waste per annum.
We have successfully designed our facilities to manage mechanical shredding, plastic sorting, cable stripping and granulating, metal recovery, CRT processing, bailing, lamp recycling and degaussing. We are probably the only organised player to have the state-of-the-art machinery for Data Destruction on wheels and Lamp Recycling on wheels facilities. We are in the process of setting up another very large facility for processing 18,000 MT of e-waste per annum with very sophisticated technologies from EU & Japan.
Based on our experience, expertise and technological prowess, we are today the preferred partner for most of the leading brands across banking, IT and media sector.
NB: Any plans to connect community?
B K Soni: I strongly believe that every awareness drive must be associated with action. We recently have tied up with Book My Junk, a Start Up Mobile Application. This is a very unique application launched in the interest of the environment conscious individuals and small businesses. Ecoreco is taking help of this application to service such generators who knows that only awareness is not enough but an action is equally required. In this case, the generator does not need to walk extra steps and neither has to spend anything to get the same delivered at the Recycling Facility but is completely taken care of the team at the Book My Junk.
NB: Would you please share, how the Book My Junk Application assists general public?
B K Soni: What I liked most is the objective of this initiative, which is to help people dispose their e-waste in an organised manner. This is an awareness led initiative, wherein, people can download the Book My Junk app on their handset and inform about the items of e-waste they propose to dispose of in an environment friendly manner. Book My Junk team manages the entire collection process and delivers at the Ecoreco’s Recycling Facility. The entire process is managed as per the E-waste Management Rules and CPCB / MPCB Norms. The best part is that there is no cost involved for the app users.
NB: How are corporate India and manufacturersof E&E products managing their e-waste?
B K Soni: India follows E-waste Management Rules, 2016 and E-waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018. EPR Guidelines are stringent for the Producers and Manufacturers of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE), wherein, they have to collect back specified quantity (based on the life cycle of the respective equipment & quantity placed in the market) of e-waste from the end consumer for their environmentally sound recycling.
As per the existing government laid rules, manufacturers have to re-collect and recycle about 15% of their manufactured products.
NB: Tell us about the company’s future plans?
B K Soni: There is no doubt that Recycling Industry has a very long & bright future. Keeping this in vision, Ecoreco has developed capacities and enhancing its capabilities to serve major OEMs, Bulk Consumers directly besides serving individual consumers through Book My Junk application. Ecoreco’s unmatched service in the field of Data Destruction, Lamp Recycling, Skill Developments amongst waste workers, Reverse Logistic Network, PRO services over & above its very transparent e-waste recycling services are not only being repeatedly used by its clients but recommended.
Ecoreco assists its clients in other nations including Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mauritus, Maldives etc.