The majority of e-waste in India is processed by the informal sector. E-waste contains both hazardous elements as well as valuable materials that could be extracted and sold. In order to address this growing issue, the Government of India recently issued the E-Waste Management Rules. The rules require producers to meet annual collection targets that increase with each passing year and encourages the collection of e-waste through Producer Responsibility Organizations (“PROs”). PROs are businesses that “channelize” e-waste towards clean recycling processes on behalf of producers.
The PRO sector is at a nascent stage with only a handful of operations in Delhi. There is an opportunity for new players in this rapidly growing market.
Chintan Environmental Research Group (“Chintan”) is an environmental non-profit with a long history of working in e-waste and EPIC-India, conducted a census of informal e-waste operations in Delhi, and analyzed a novel dataset of the types of e-waste handled, volumes collected, and purchase prices of e-waste products, as well as the locations of thousands of e-waste enterprises.
For this project, the Energy Policy Institute gratefully acknowledges generous research support provided by the Tata Centre for Development (TCD) at UChicago.