E-Waste in Indian Cities, Menace, Resource, and Strategies for Sustainable Management

Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


E-waste in India, which may exceed three million tons by 2020, contributes significantly to solid waste generation in cities. Indian e-waste recycling is a subset of metal scrap industry consisting of formal and informal collectors, transporters, dismantlers, and recyclers. Class 1 and 2 cities act as major e-waste suppliers where informal sector collects and supplies 95 % e-waste to informal recycling hubs in metros resulting in toxic emissions and stress on civic services. The formal sector just accounts 5 % with 14 % of their capacity utilization. India’s projected material requirements, up to 2030, are around 14.2 billion tons (46 % minerals and 6 % metals). India imports 95 % copper; 100 % molybdenum, nickel, antimony, cobalt, and magnesite; 90 % phosphate; and 87 % fluorite. Current e-waste inventory estimates from PC projected till 2020 indicate recovery potential of silver (6 tons to 11 tons), gold (1.4 tons to 2.4 tons), palladium (0.5 tons to 0.89 tons), copper (3.14 tons to 5.6 tons), and cobalt (0.4 tons to 0.73 tons) with GHG emissions ranging from 2 to 35 % of the GHG emissions due to primary mining of these metals. SWOT analysis indicates that despite potential strengths and opportunities, weakness exists due to sluggish enforcement of regulations without targets, economic instrument, and take back mechanism increasing illegal leakage of material. Therefore, under 3R strategy, usage of economic instrument, collection targets, and viability gap financing through PPP can lead to successful demonstration of e-waste management in metros. This can be scaled up to waste management parks, ecotowns, and their integration with smart cities.


Informal Sector Smart City Public Private Partnership Indian City Compounded Annual Growth Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Dittrich M, Giljum S, Lutter S et al (2012) Green economies around the World? Implications of resource use for development and the environment Vienna. http://www.google.co.in/#q=Dittrich+Monika%2C+Giljum+Stefan%2C+Lutter+Stephan+et+al+(2012)+Green+Economies+around+the+World%3F+Implications+of+resource+use+for+development+and+the+environment+Vienna. Accessed 9 Oct 2014
  2. Eisinger F, Chakrabarti R, Kruger C, Alexeew J (2011) Carbon footprint of E-waste recycling scenarios in India, Version 1.0 Adelphi, Berlin, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  3. e-waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi, 1st January 2012, The Gazette of India. http://www.moef.nic.in/downloads/rules-and-regulations/1035e_eng.pdf. Accessed 9 Oct 2014
  4. E-waste Volume 1, Inventory Assessment Manual (2007) UNEP, DTIE, IETC, Osaka/Shiga, Japan. http://www.unep.or.jp/ietc/Publications/spc/EWasteManual_Vol1.pdf. Accessed 6 Oct 2014
  5. Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of E-waste (2008) Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi, India. http://www.cpcb.nic.in/upload/NewItems/NewItem_109_Latest_19_E_Waste_GuideLines.pdf. Accessed 6 Oct 2014
  6. Implementation of E-waste Rules 2011 Guidelines; Guidance document for implementation of provisions of the E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 (2012) Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi, India, http://www.cpcb.nic.in/upload/Latest/Latest_71_ImplementationOfE-WasteRules.pdf. Accessed 9 Oct 2014
  7. India Electronic Waste Recycle Market Opportunity Analysis Research and Markets (2013) http://www.researchhandmarkets.com/research/tk2c38/india_electronic. Accessed 6 Oct 2014
  8. India’s Future Needs for Resources Dimensions, Challenges and Possible Solutions (2013) IFEU – Institut fur Energie – und Umweltforschung Heidelberg GmBH; TERI – The Energy and Resources Institute; SERI – Sustainable Europe Research Institute; Wuppertal Institute; GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit, igep. http://www.igep.in/live/hrdpmp/hrdpmaster /igep/content/e48745/e50194/e58089/Resource Efficiency_Report_Final.pdf. Accessed 9 Oct 2014
  9. Jain A (2014) E-waste management and techno – economics. In: National symposium on sustainable e-waste recycling technologies, Hyderabad, Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), Hyderabad, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  10. Jain A, Deshpande A (2012) Business model for EPR based E-waste management system. Proceedings, Electronics Goes Green 2012+ by Fraunhofer Verlag, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  11. Jain A, Sareen R (2006) E-waste assessment methodology and validation in India. J Mater Cycles Waste Manage 8(1):40–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kojima Michikazu; Promoting 3Rs In Developing Countries Lessons from the Japanese Experience (2008) Institute of Developing Economies, JapanGoogle Scholar
  13. List of E-waste Dismantlers/Recycler in the country (2014), Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi, India. http://www.CPCB.nic.in. Accessed 9 Oct 2014
  14. Living Planet Report (2006) WWF International, Switzerland; Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London UK; Global Footprint Network, 2006. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/images/uploads/LPR_2006_English.pdf. Accessed 9 Oct 2014
  15. Puckett J, Smith T (2002) Exporting harm: the high-tech trash of Asia, Basel Action Network (BAN). http://www.ban.org/E-waste/technotrashfinalcomp.pdf. Accessed 9 Oct 2014
  16. Recycling – From E-waste to Resources, Sustainable Innovation and Technology Transfer Industrial Sector Studies (2009) UNEP, DTIE, STEP. http://www.unep.org/pdf/Recycling_From_e-waste_to_resources.pdf. Accessed 9 Oct 2014
  17. Report on Assessment of Electronic Wastes in Mumbai-Pune Area (2007) Maharashtra Pollution Control Board. http://mpcb.gov.in/images/pdf/ewastereport1.pdf. Accessed 9 Oct 2014
  18. SWAPI Waste Atlas (2012) University of Leeds; ISWA; SWEEPNET; WIERT. http://www.atlas.d-waste.com. Accessed 9 Oct 2014

Copyright information

© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IRG Systems South AsiaNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations