Time to start E-waste Dismantling today with complete guidance from our experts

E-waste dismantling breaks the discarded waste into its components and then segregates them to be sent to the registered recyclers for further processing. Obviously, the process is tedious and requires skills and an e-waste dismantling license. Know the complete details here.

E-Waste Dismantling Plant - Overview

Shockingly, India alone produces 3.2 million MT of e-waste every year. For the same reason, it is the world's third-biggest contributor of e-waste, preceded by China and the US. As per the experts, during the pandemic, the count of e-waste generation skyrocketed in India due to people's excessive use of electric and electronic equipment (EEE). The desire to upgrade according to advanced technology means millions of tonnes of e-waste are produced worldwide. Proper waste management, including e-waste dismantling. But, unfortunately, the practice has not paced with the ever-increasing e-waste.

Lately, the United Nations University (UNU) published a report. It revealed that 38% of e-waste will increase by 2030. Thus, as expected, a persistent increase in EEE's purchases will offer a beneficial economic environment for the e-waste dismantling plant setup. There are over 1800 e-waste recycling plants in India. But unfortunately, 95% of the e-waste is not managed correctly. Hence, e-waste dismantling in an eco-friendly way has become quite imperative.

The government introduced the E-waste Management (EWM) Rules. These rules were introduced in India in 2016. These rules included the dealers, manufacturers and refurbishers. Add to it dismantlers and recyclers. The rules also brought the Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) under its ambit. Besides introducing the dismantlers, the regulations mandated them to collaborate. They must tie up with producers, importers and brand owners (PIBO). E-waste Management Rules – 2016 further stated a few more details. The dismantlers have to collect the e-waste quarterly or monthly from the manufacturers. Also, the waste must be disposed of post-e-waste collection accordingly. The following sections clearly describe norms like these and various amendments made after that.

E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022

EWM Rules 2022 will apply to every dismantler. The dismantler is involved in the EEE or e-waste dismantling process. The process includes equipment's consumables and components. Parts and spares which make the product operational are also included. But, these norms will not apply to –

  • micro-enterprise; The list is included in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Act, 2006;
  • waste batteries as per the Battery Waste Management (BWM) Rules, 2022;
  • radio-active wastes as per the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962) and its related rules; and
  • packaging plastics as quoted under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Definitions under the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2022

As per the rules –

dismantler is any entity or person engaged in dismantling used EEE into its components and owning authorisation from the associated Pollution Control Committee (PCC) or State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) as instructed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB);

e-waste implies EEE, including solar photo-voltaic panels or modules or cells, in part or whole discarded as waste and also rejected from manufacturing, repair and refurbishment activities;

environmentally sound management of e-waste stands for following certain steps. These steps guarantee that e-waste is managed. It is managed in a manner such as to protect health and the environment. These are protected against any ill effects resulting from such e-waste;

the Facility is any site wherein certain processes are performed. These processes are incidental to e-waste reception and segregation. It also includes e-waste collection, storage, refurbishing, and disposal. Recycling and treatment of e-waste is an added plus;

extended producer responsibility (EPR) denotes the responsibility of any producer of EEE as stated in Schedule I. This must help meet recycling targets as per Schedule III and IV. However, this must be done only via registered e-waste recyclers. This promises sound management of such waste in an eco-friendly way.

Responsibilities of the dismantler

All dismantlers shall have to -

  • ensure that the e-waste dismantling business, process and facility are as per the rules or standards given by CPCB from time to time;
  • obtain authorisation from the specific SPCB according to the process under sub-rule (3) of rule 13;
  • guarantee that the dismantling activities do not adversely affect the environment and human health;
  • make sure that no damage is caused to the environment while transporting and storing electronic waste;
  • make sure that dismantled e-waste is segregated and moreover sent to the authorised recycling facilities for valuable materials’ recovery;
  • retain a record of e-waste dismantled, collected and sent to the authorised recycler in Form-2. Furthermore, the e-waste dismantler must produce such a record for verification by the CPCB or the associated SPCB;
  • ensure that non-recoverable or non-recyclable pieces reach the authorised (TSDF) treatment storage and disposal facilities;
  • submit a return in Form-3, to the specific SPCB, before or on 30th June following the financial year to which that return relates;
  • dismantlers carrying out dismantling without obtaining authorisation will be regarded as damaging the environment; and
  • won't process any e-waste for refining or recovery of materials unless the concerned SPCB authorises the dismantler as a recycler.
  • In case of an accident at the facility or during e-waste transportation, the dismantler must immediately inform the concerned SPCB via telephone and e-mail.
  • Notably, according to E-waste (Management) Rules 2018, the dismantler is liable to pay financial penalties as levied under the norms of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the associated rules. These penalties will be imposed for any violation by the SPCBs with the prior approval of the CPCB as per its instructions.
  • Must adhere to Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines for dismantling, collection, transportation, storage, segregation, recycling, refurbishment and disposal of e-waste under the rules set up by the CPCB from time to time.
  • The dismantler must also submit relevant returns/forms to implement the rules introduced by CPCB.

Procedure for storage of e-waste

All recyclers must store the e-waste for up to six months. They must maintain a record of the transfer, sale and storage of e-wastes and make these records available for inspection. Given that, the CPCB may extend the said period up to one year if the e-waste is to be precisely stored to develop a process for its reuse or recycling.

Liability dismantler as per the E-waste Management Rules

  • The dismantler seeking to obtain an e-waste license stands liable to pay financial fines as levied for any violation of the norms under the said rules by the SPCB with the prior consent of the CPCB.
  • The e-waste dismantler is liable for all damages caused to the third party and environment because of improper e-waste management and handling;
Verification & Audit

The Central Pollution Control Board, by itself or via a selected agency, must verify compliance with the norms by dismantlers via periodic audits and random inspection, as required, to take action against violations of the standards of the rules as stated in regulations 22.


Dismantlers can benefit from starting an e-waste dismantling business. Mentioned below are a few benefits-

  • After collecting e-waste from the manufacturers, Dismantlers can sell the same to recyclers and earn substantial profit margins.
  • The dismantlers or recyclers can extract other precious metals and gold by properly dismantling their operational unit.
  • Additionally, the Government of India (GOI) has also allowed the dismantlers to collect scraps from government tenders.
  • E-waste recycling or dismantling helps in gold recovery, precious metal extraction or fulfilling EPR compliances of PIBO.
  • Dismantlers can then participate in MSTC Auction to get materials from PSUs like BHEL and Indian Railways for processing.

Process of E-waste Dismantling

Dismantling e-waste is one of the essential steps. It completes the E-waste Management in an eco-friendly way. The process involves breaking end-of-life equipment into its constituents. These are then segregated so that the recycling process can be initiated quickly. The method of dismantling e-waste involves: –


De-dusting involves industrial granulation cleaning, usually using a pneumatic separation system. Separation may include separating dust from re-processed items but also removing light impurities.

Manual segregation

Manual segregation means separating municipal solid waste into different groups like inorganic, organic, hazardous and recyclable wastes. It is an important stage since it allows recycling, treatment, reuse and scientific disposal of different waste components.

Breaking of equipment

The equipment is broken into smaller pieces to obtain various components


Incineration is burning hazardous waste at temperatures high enough to destroy contaminants. It takes place in an "incinerator," a furnace designed for burning hazardous items in a combustion chamber.

Procedure for grant of E-waste 2016 registration

1. In order to deal with hazardous waste, dismantlers are mandated to obtain permission/consent to operate (CTO) from the regulatory agencies and state authorities.

2. Every e-waste dismantler must apply in Form-4 in triplicate, within three months, to the SPCB.

3. The application must accompany a copy of the following documents for the grant of registration: -

  • proof of the installed capacity of machinery and plant again granted by the DIC or any other authorised government agency;
  • consent to establish (CTE) by SPCB;
  • registration certificate issued by any official government agency or DIC;
  • details of health aspects and occupational safety
  • Pollution NOC;
  • details of e-waste proposed to be procured from re-processing;
  • details of dismantling facilities (both manual as well as mechanised);
  • Passbook;
  • copy agreement with the producer;
  • copy of the agreement with the collection centre;
  • Hazardous Waste Authorisation;
  • details of storage of dismantled e-waste;
  • copy of the agreement with the recycler;
  • details of storage of recovered and raw materials;
  • details of components or materials sold and recovered;
  • details quantity of e-waste processed (code-wise);
  • amount of e-waste sent to a recycler; and
  • the residual amount of e-waste sent to TSDF.

4. On being satisfied that the application is complete in all regards and that the applicant is utilising environment-friendly technologies and has sufficient technical capabilities, equipment and requisite facilities to dismantle and process e-waste, the SPC grants a registration specifying the essential conditions as deemed necessary for performing safe operations in the authorised place only.

5. The SPCB disposes of the registration application within ninety days of its receipt

6. The registration granted under these rules stands valid for two years and, after that, for a maximum of five years after successful renewals unless the registration is cancelled or suspended by the SPCB or the operation is discontinued by the facility.

7. The SPCB, after giving enough chances of being heard to the applicant, can refuse to issue or renew the registration.

8. The SPCB will also scrutinise the compliance of conditions decided for granting registration

9. The SPCB can suspend or cancel a granted registration if the registered dismantler fails to comply with any of the conditions/provisions of the Act/rules.

10. The dismantler must maintain records of the e-waste processed and purchased and submit annual returns of its activities of the previous year in Form 3. This must be submitted to PCC or SPCB on or before the 30th of June annually.

11. The Central Pollution Control Board and the Central Government may issue norms for standards of performance for e-waste dismantling processes from time to time.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is an e-waste dismantling license required?

    • One requires the e-waste dismantling registration to procure waste from corporate, manufacturing plants, authorised recyclers, companies, and IT firms for proper processing.
    • An E-waste license is needed to participate in government tenders as and when announced occasionally.
  • How much e-waste is officially collected and recycled or dismantled in India?

    As per reports, 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste was produced worldwide in 2019. These reports are under the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) guidance. The United Nations University (UNU) is also included. Out of the collected e-waste, only 17.4% of it was officially documented. It was officially declared as properly collected and recycled.

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