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New Delhi world’s biggest e-cycling hub?

India – India’s metropolitan region is emerging as the world’€™s biggest dumping ground for e-scrap, according to a new study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The nation’s capital alone is expected to generate up to 50 000 tonnes per year by 2015. Over the course of the next few years, New Delhi’s e-scrap volumes are expected to sky-rocket, with growth of roughly 25% per year from the current level of 30 000 tonnes.

‘As many as 8500 mobile phones, 5500 TV sets and 3000 computers are dismantled in the city every day for reuse of their component parts and materials,’ says ASSOCHAM’s secretary general D. S. Rawat. He describes the e-scrap sector as a labour-intensive industry which employs 85 000 recyclers in India’s metropolitan region.

Top importers

Apart from dealing with a big surge in e-scrap, Delhi receives some 85% of the electronic waste generated abroad, according to Rawat. Mumbai and Chennai are also described as ‘top importers’ of junk computers and other discarded devices, amounting to 1500 tonnes of material per day.

Delhi can be viewed as the ‘main hub of e-waste recycling in India – and perhaps the world’, the study asserts. This is largely due to the ‘ready market’ for glass and plastic, and the fact that electronic products are becoming ‘more and more affordable’.

According to ASSOCHAM, between 35 000 and 45 000 children in the 10-14 years age group are currently engaged in various waste activities in Delhi’s yards and recycling workshops. The industry body has ‘strongly advocated’ the need to roll out effective legislation to prevent child labour in the collection, segregation and distribution phase.

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