Delhi turning e-Waste capital

The Economic Times carried a damning report on Delhi that pointed out that New Delhi, India's capital is very well on its way to becoming the e-waste capital of the country. This sure makes for some chilling news if one goes by the statistics.

  • 900 personal computers and 3,500 TV sets are dismantled in the city every day for reuse of their component parts and materials.
  • Delhi alone gets around 70% of the electronic waste generated in the developed world.
  • Delhi’s e-waste weighs between 10,000 and 12,000 metric tonnes per year.
  • The industry directly employs about 15,000 people in organised recycling units.

Why Delhi of all places in India?

Information from different areas suggest the quite obvious ones

  • Delhi and surrounding areas have a big market for recycled e-waste. E-waste imported into Mumbai and Chennai mostly makes its way to Delhi as there is a ready market for glass and plastic in the NCR.
  • Burning of PVC coated copper wires, gold extraction from computer chips, reuse of glass, plastic or taking out lead from picture tubes; whatever the case, there is a ready market in north India.
E-Waste and its associated problems are the major bane associated with this largely unregulated industry and the cause for concern. This combined with realities like

  • US consumers will get rid of about 10 million old computers, containing toxic mercury and lead, this year. Two-thirds of this will be shipped to Asia for dismantling.
  • About 93 million mobile phone users in India will start junking their outdated or old handsets over the next two-three years.
pose a grim picture if things continue to be this way this industry that exposes the dirty under belly of the IT b

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