J S Pigment

E- Waste

Electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) is currently the largest growing waste stream. It is hazardous, complex and expensive to treat in an environmentally sound manner, and Today, most e-waste is being discarded in the general waste stream.

E-waste comprises of wastes generated from used electronic and electrical devices and house hold appliances which are not fit for their original intended use and are destined for reduce, reuse, and recycle. Such wastes encompasses wide range of electrical electronic devices such as computers, hand held cellular phones, personal stereos, including large household appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners etc. E-wastes contain over 1000 different substances many of which are toxic and potentially hazardous for environment and human health, These Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments [WEEE] are termed as e-waste. The e-waste is emerging as a major crisis in developing and developed countries.

Composition of E-Waste

Composition of e-waste is very diverse and differs in products across different categories. It contains more than 1000 different substances, which fall under “hazardous” and “non-hazardous” categories. Broadly, it consists of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, glass, wood & plywood, printed circuit boards, rubber and other items. The presence of elements like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, selenium, and hexavalent chromium and flame retardants beyond threshold quantities in e-waste classifies them as hazardous waste.

Increasing amount of E- Waste:

Product obsolescence is becoming more rapid since the speed of innovation and the dynamism of product manufacturing / marketing has resulted in a short life span (less than two years) for many computer products. Short product life span coupled with exponential increase at an average 15% per year will result in doubling of the volume of e-waste over the next five to six years.

Toxic components:

E-waste are known to contain certain toxic constituents in their components such as lead, cadmium, mercury, polychlorinated bi-phenyls (PCBs), etched chemicals, brominated flame retardants etc., which are required to be handled safely.

Main issues

The main issues posed by e-waste are as follows: