E-waste dismantling process in India Steps, advantages, authorisation and need

Electronic waste, or e-waste, is an increasing global concern because of the rapid pace of technological advancement and the consequent obsolescence of electronic devices. India, one of the world's largest producers of e-waste, faces significant challenges in managing this hazardous waste stream. To address this issue, India has implemented various e-waste dismantling processes, which involve disassembling and recycling electronic products.

In this article, let’s explore the steps involved in the e-waste dismantling process in India, discuss its advantages, and delve into the pressing need for effective e-waste management.

I. Steps in the E-waste Dismantling Process in India


The first step in the e-waste dismantling process is the collection of electronic waste. E-waste can be collected from various sources, including households, businesses, and government agencies. India has established collection centres and organised e-waste drives to encourage the responsible disposal of electronic products .


Once collected, e-waste is sorted into different categories depending on the type of electronic device and its components. This step is crucial as it determines the subsequent dismantling and recycling processes. Common categories include computers, mobile phones, televisions, and kitchen appliances.


Dismantling involves systematically disassembling electronic devices to extract valuable components and separate hazardous materials. Skilled workers use specialised tools to carefully remove the devices, ensuring that reusable and recyclable materials are preserved. Functional elements like circuit boards, memory chips, and batteries are removed during this phase.

Hazardous Material Removal

During dismantling, hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and flame-retardant chemicals are safely extracted. These materials pose significant environmental and health risks if not handled properly. Proper disposal or treatment of hazardous components is essential to prevent contamination and pollution.

Component Recovery

Valuable and reusable components obtained during dismantling are segregated for reuse or resale. This includes integrated circuits, connectors, and display screens, which can be refurbished and incorporated into new electronic products.

Material Recycling

After hazardous materials are removed and valuable components recovered, the remaining materials, such as plastics, metals, and glass, are sent for recycling. This promotes resource conservation and reduces the environmental impact of e-waste.

Data Erasure

In cases where e-waste includes devices with storage media (e.g., hard drives, SSDs), data erasure is crucial to protect sensitive information. Data sanitisation processes ensure that personal and confidential data is permanently deleted.

Disposal of Non-Recyclable Waste

Any residual waste that cannot be recycled or safely disposed of is managed according to environmental regulations. This may include incineration or secure landfill disposal to minimise environmental harm.

II. Advantages of E-waste Dismantling in India

Resource Recovery

E-waste dismantling allows for recovering valuable resources like silver, gold, copper, and rare earth metals from electronic devices. Recycling these materials minimises the need for mining and conserves natural resources.

Pollution Mitigation

Proper e-waste dismantling and disposal help prevent the release of hazardous substances into the environment. This reduces air and water pollution, protecting both ecosystems and human health.

Job Creation

The e-waste management industry in India can create employment opportunities especially in the informal sector. Skilled and unskilled workers are needed for collection, sorting, dismantling, and recycling.

Economic Growth

Effective e-waste management can contribute to economic growth by generating revenue from recycling and developing a circular economy It encourages entrepreneurship and investment in recycling infrastructure.

Environmental Conservation

E-waste dismantling reduces the demand for virgin materials and energy-intensive manufacturing processes. This, in turn, helps minimise greenhouse gas emissions and mitigates climate change.

Compliance with Regulations

Proper e-waste management aligns with international environmental agreements and national regulations. India has implemented the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) concept, obligating manufacturers to manage the end-of-life disposal of their products.

Health and Safety

E-waste dismantling, when carried out under safe conditions and with proper protective measures, safeguards the health and safety of workers. It reduces exposure to toxic substances that can cause severe health issues.

III. The Need for Effective E-waste Management in India

Rapid Technological Advancement

India has witnessed rapid technological growth, leading to shorter lifespans for electronic devices. As a result, the volume of e-waste generated has increased substantially. Effective management is necessary to prevent environmental damage.

Environmental Concerns

Improper e-waste disposal can contaminate soil and water, posing risks to ecosystems and public health. Toxic substances from e-waste can leach into the soil, affecting crops and wildlife.

Health Risks

Workers in informal e-waste recycling often lack protective gear and work in unsafe conditions. This exposes them to harmful chemicals and fumes, leading to serious health issues like respiratory diseases and skin disorders.

Lack of Awareness

Many individuals and businesses in India must be aware of the hazards associated with e-waste or the proper disposal methods. Raising awareness is essential to encourage responsible e-waste disposal.

Informal Recycling

A significant portion of e-waste in India is managed through informal recycling practices, often carried out in unregulated and hazardous environments. Formalising the e-waste management sector is crucial for safety and efficiency.

Extended Producer Responsibility

While India has implemented EPR regulations, compliance and enforcement remain challenging. Producers must take more responsibility for the end-of-life management of their products to ensure sustainability.

Electronic Consumption Patterns

India's growing middle class and increasing consumerism have led to higher electronic consumption. Managing the resulting e-waste requires well-structured systems and infrastructure.

Global Pressure

Like other nations, India faces international pressure to address e-waste issues due to its global environmental impact. To maintain its reputation on the global stage, India must improve its e-waste management practices.

IV. Authorisations required for setting up e-waste dismantling plant in India

Setting up an e-waste dismantling plant in India involves various regulatory and environmental considerations. Also, authorisation is required from relevant government authorities. Here is an overview of the authorisation and permissions typically needed:

Environmental Clearance

Obtaining environmental clearance is crucial in setting up an e-waste dismantling plant. This clearance is usually granted by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), based on the location and scale of the project. Applicants must submit an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report and conduct a public hearing as part of the clearance process.

Consent to Establish and Operate (CTE and CTO)

Before commencing operations, you must obtain Consent to Establish (CTE) and Consent to Operate (CTO) from the relevant State Pollution Control Board. These consents ensure that your plant complies with environmental regulations and standards.

Hazardous Waste Authorisation

E-waste is hazardous under the Hazardous & Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) (HOWM) Rules, 2016. To handle, store, and transport hazardous waste, you must obtain authorisation from the SPCB. This includes obtaining a Hazardous Waste Authorisation (HWA) or a Common Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility (CHWTSDF) authorisation, depending on your facility's capacity.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Certification

To ensure the quality and safety of e-waste recycling, obtaining BIS certification for your dismantling plant is essential. The BIS certification is issued under the Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2012.

Consent from Local Authorities

Depending on the location of your plant, you may need consent or approvals from local municipal or town planning authorities. Local building codes and land use regulations should also be followed.

Import/Export Authorisation

If your plant intends to import e-waste or export recycled materials you may need to obtain appropriate import/export authorisations and comply with customs regulations.

State-Specific Regulations

Some states in India may have additional requirements or regulations related to e-waste management. It's important to check with your state's specific SPCB or environmental agency for state-specific requirements.

Registration with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

E-waste dismantling plants must register with the CPCB and submit annual reports on the quantity and type of e-waste handled and the disposal methods used.

Compliance with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations

Producers, importers or brand owners (PIBO) of electronic products are obligated under EPR regulations to manage the end-of-life disposal of their products. Collaboration with these entities may be necessary to meet compliance requirements.

Fire Safety and Occupational Health (FSOH) Approvals

Ensure that your plant complies with fire safety regulations and obtains necessary approvals. Additionally, address occupational health and safety standards for workers in your facility.


Effective e-waste dismantling processes are crucial for India to manage its growing e-waste problem, mitigate environmental and health risks, and tap into the economic potential of resource recovery. By following the steps outlined in this article and capitalising on the advantages of responsible e-waste management, India can reduce its environmental footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

It is imperative that the government, industry stakeholders, and the public work together to address the pressing need for robust e-waste management practices in the country. Non-compliance with these regulations can call for legal actions, fines, or even shutdowns. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the legal framework and diligent compliance are crucial for setting up and operating an e-waste dismantling plant in India.

Diksha Khiatani

A writer by day and a reader at night. Emerging from an Engineering background, Diksha has completed her M. Tech in Computer Science field. Being passionate about writing, she started her career as a Writer. She finds it interesting and always grabs time to research and write about Environmental laws and compliances. With extensive knowledge on content writing, she has been delivering high-quality write-ups. Besides, you will often find her with a novel and a cuppa!

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