Electronic wastes, "e-waste", "e-scrap", or "Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment" ("WEEE") is a description of surplus, obsolete, broken or discarded electrical or electronic devices. Technically, electronic "waste" is the component which is dumped or disposed or discarded rather than recycled, including residue from reuse and recycling operations. Because loads of surplus electronics are frequently coming led (good, recyclable, and non-recyclable), several public policy advocates apply the term "e-waste" broadly to all surplus electronics. Electronic Waste – or e-waste – is the term used to describe old, end-of-life electronic appliances such as computers, laptops, TVs, DVD players, mobile phones, mp3 players etc. which have been disposed of by their original users. While there is no generally accepted definition of e-waste, in most cases, e-waste comprises of relatively expensive and essentially durable products used for data processing, telecommunications or entertainment in private households and businesses.
The rising levels of e-waste generation in India are a matter of concern in recent years. With quite 100 crore mobile phones in circulation, nearly 25 per cent find yourself in e-waste annually. “India has surely emerged as the second largest mobile market with 1.03 billion subscribers, but also the fifth largest producer of e-waste within the world, discarding roughly 18.5 lakh metric tonnes of electronic waste each year, with telecom equipment alone accounting for 12 per cent of the e-waste’’.
The fastest growing sources of waste and is estimated to be increasing by 16-28 per cent every five years. Within each sector a posh set of heterogeneous secondary wastes is made. Although treatment requirements are complicated, the sources from anybody sector possess many common characteristics. However, there exist huge variations within the nature of electronic wastes between sectors, and treatment regimes appropriate for one can't be readily transferred to a different. The ‘Electronic Waste Management in India,’ conducted to mark World Environment Day, said as Indians become richer and spend more on electronic items and appliances, computer equipment accounts for nearly 70% of e-waste material, followed by telecommunication equipment (12%), electrical equipment (8%) and medical equipment (7%). Other equipment, including household e-crap account for the remaining 4%.
India is emerging as one of the world's major electronic waste generators, posing grave concerns to public health and environment alike. Industry body Assocham, said India’s ‘production’ of e-waste is likely to increase by nearly three times, from the existing 18 lakh metric tons (MT) to 52 lakh MT) per annum by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 30%.The Global Electronic Waste Recycling Market is expected to expand at 13.03% CAGR to reach a market value of 39,498.81 Million in 2024. A mere 1.5% of India's total e-waste gets recycled due to poor infrastructure, legislation and framework which leads to a waste of diminishing natural resources, irreparable damage of environment and health of the people working in industry. Over 95% of e-waste generated is managed by the unorganized sector and scrap dealers in this market, dismantle the disposed products instead of recycling it.