. Electronic Waste (E-Waste) means electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes. It comprises of end of life information technology and telecommunication (IT & Telecoms) equipment such as centralized data processing, mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers, laptops, printers, use terminals, cellular phone, etc. and end of life consumer electrical and electronics such as television sets, refrigerator, air conditioner, washing machine and fluorescent and other mercury containing lamps. This equipment along with their EEE code are listed in schedule – I of the rules (Annexure-I).
Under the E-Waste (M) Rules, 2016, 'Electrical and Electronic Equipment' (EEE) means equipment which are dependent on electric current or electro-magnetic field in order to become functional.
Yes, E-waste contains hazardous substances such as lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polychlorinated bi-phenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants (BFR), etc.
A. E-waste can cause health risks and damage to environment if the E-waste is opened-up and attempts are made for retrieval of useful components or material in an un-scientific manner or if the material is disposed in open. The electronic and electrical equipment after their useful life may not cause any harm if stored safely in households/stores. The electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) have valuable materials and hazardous/toxics substances in their components. E-waste can be considered as a resource that contains useful material of economic benefit for recovery of plastics, iron, glass, aluminum, copper and precious metals such as silver, gold, platinum, and palladium and lead, cadmium, mercury etc. However, at the same time presence of heavy metals (As, Cd, Hg, Pb etc.) and other toxic substances such as polychlorinated bi-phenyls (PCBs), etched chemicals, etc. may pose risk to health and environment during handling and recovery operations.
The management of E-Waste in India is regulated through E – Waste (M) Rules, 2016 under the Environment Protection Act, 1986. Further the rules have been amended in 2018. Digital copies of these rules are uploaded at CPCB’s website (Link