Setting up E-waste Recycling Business
About this Business
Electronic Waste recycling is another great recycling business plan. This business entails the
buying of scrap electronic peripherals and electronic devices and marketing them to
recyclers. All electronic gadgets can be recycled such as mobile phones, laptops, televisions
etc. Electronic waste, e-waste, e-scrap, or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. "Electronic waste" may also be defined
as discarded computers, office electronic equipment, entertainment device electronics,
mobile phones, television sets and refrigerators. This definition includes used electronics
which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal. Green businesses are
the key drivers of the economy in the current global business scenario. Of the various green
initiatives, waste recycling creates the highest positive impact on the environment. Of all
the different types of waste, electronic waste has the characteristics of
a) The fastest growing segment of waste
b) Most valuable due to its basic composition
c) Very hazardous if not handled carefully.
E waste Assessment in India
E-Waste Initiative contributes to improved technologies and skills for e-waste management
and recycling in India and improved operating and living surroundings of urban dwellers
working in the (informal) e-waste recycling sector through higher managed e-waste streams,
resource protection, reduced health risks and a far better economic situation. The
assessment focuses on identification of e-waste streams and quantification, identification of
major stakeholders in the e-waste business, recycling and disposal processes opportunities
and major risks associated within the e-waste recycling.
The objectives of this is to develop a sound methodology for estimation the volume of
electrical waste created in India (limited to Computers, TV and mobile phones), projections
of e-waste over next five years, disposal behaviour and recycling practices, determine the
scope in the recycling business, assess capacities of existing recyclers.
E-Waste quantities are estimated at 3 levels:
• Potential Annual e-waste: It generally includes products at the end of active life that
either gets stacked within warehouses and store rooms or products that are not sold by
consumers due to inappropriate value price or are used for lower level application.
• E-waste available for Recycling: It includes the products that are exchanged/ sold-out by
their owners. Large quantities of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments get
refurbished, reused or relocated to smaller cities or villages.
Setting up E-waste Recycling Business
• E-waste Recycled: This includes the disposed electronic products which are actually
recycled and would include the dismantled parts and components of the electronic and
electrical products. The entire annual e-waste generated in India presently is 4,00,000 MT,
together with 60,000 MT of imports in India. The next level is the quantity available for
recycling that is 1,50,143 MT however due to lack of substantial improvement market only
20,000 MT of e-waste has been recycled.
Industry Overview
Electronic waste is waste material consisting of any broken or unwanted electrical or
electronic appliances. As per the CPCB (Central Pollution control Board) guidelines, e-waste
is outlined as waste generated from used electronic devices and household appliances that
are not fit for their originally intended use and are destined for recovery, usage and
disposal. Elements of waste electrical and electronic equipments are:
- IT & telecom Equipments
- Large household Appliances
- Small household Appliances
- Consumer & Lighting
‐ Electrical & Electronic Tools
- Toys, Leisure & sports equipment
- Medical Devices
- Monitoring & control Instruments
Indian economic growth
The electronic industries have emerged as the quickest growing segment of Indian
industries in terms of production, internal consumption and export. This growth has vital
economic and social impact because the quickly increasing consumption and obsolescence
rates of electronic product are resulting in higher generation of e-waste.
Import of e-waste
The other major source of e-waste in India aside from businesses & households is imports.
In the developed countries, it's overpriced to recycle the discarded electronics. Electronics
are electronics exported to developing nations camouflaged as charity or scrap for
enhancing the product useful life. This foreign electronics usually have short life or even
sometimes it's unfit for use and ultimately adds to e-waste stream. This trade is flourishing
in India due to presence of low cost labour that can repair and reuse the
equipment/components to increase its useful life. Also the absence of import laws has
created India a favoured destination for dumping of e-waste from developed countries. It is,
however, illicit to import the e-waste because India is a signatory to Basel Convention for
Transboundary Movement of hazardous Substances. Therefore, electronic products are
being imported in a very clandestine fashion. The clandestine manner of importing e-waste
makes it troublesome to estimate the quantities of e-waste imported into India. Based on
the secondary sources, it's estimated that around 50,000 metric tonnes of e-waste is being
imported to India each year.
Setting up E-waste Recycling Business
Major Drivers for Future
1. SWOT analysis of E-waste inventory in India indicates that computers, cellular phones
(Information and Communication Technologies Equipments), TVs (brown goods),
refrigerators and washing machines (white goods) are expected to drive the long run growth
of E-waste recycling industry in India.
2. The recovery of plastics and metals can still drive the local E-waste trade.
3. International trade, environmental problems and recycling infrastructure can drive Ewaste recycling in India.
4. Cheaper value of usage in informal sector. Leakage of E-waste abroad will also drive
informal sector
5. Shift in consumer behaviour from “Money Receiver”to“Money Giver”
6. Material Security
Risk associated
1. Risk due to time taken to “design & institutionalize” take back system (collection/
transport/ economic instrument/ roles and responsibilities/ monitoring/) design &
2. Risks as a result of lack of inventory
3. Risks of availability of raw material
4. Risk related to competition
5. Type of raw material / input to E-waste recycling system
6. Scale of operation
7. Expected yield / output (scale/ technology/ efficiency)
8. Price Risks
Investment Opportunities
Clean technologies nowadays provide huge investment opportunities covering areas like
led lighting, water purification, usage of e-waste, food-processing, wind power, solar
power and second generation bio-fuels.
It is said that pursuit of energy may involve $10 billion in India. With India expected to
supply around one million metric ton of e-waste by 2015 up from the current level of
440,000 tonnes every year, the business of usage e-waste alone could be a billion dollar
The retrieval of components including precious metals and spare elements for re-use
provides a possible source of revenue. It’s interesting to note that the UNEP and United
Nations University’s Report titled “Recycling – from E-waste to Resources” has classified
India along with China “as having a big potential for the introduction of pre-and endprocessing technologies with a powerful support in capability building in the informal
The Report observes that the market potential of innovative usage technologies is
outlined through the vital volumes, which might justify the transfer and installation of
Setting up E-waste Recycling Business
technologies so as to manage e-waste within the most sustainable way. Hence, having a
market potential doesn’t essentially mean that an operation may be run in a selfsufficient way. Technology transfer has got to be addressed taking into account a
broader vision e-waste recycling does not simply mean installing or transferring state-ofthe-art, environmentally sustainable and effective technologies in a country. Any effort
for solving the e-waste problem or, in other words, sustainable recycling of e-waste will
always demand for an appropriate framework, including a proper collection network,
and a financing scheme.
With regard to the market potential of innovative end-processing technologies, the
Report observes that there is no integrated smelter for non-ferrous metals
concentrating on scrap from e-waste alone. Due to the large volumes and high
investments needed to establish a state-of-the-art facility, this technology can only have
a market potential where high volumes can be accessed from a whole region and/or
through favorable trade routes.
Also, the possibility of integrating the e-scrap into existing primary non-ferrous metals
smelter facilities by upgrading the operation could be a favorable factor from a regional
perspective. Taking into account a possible growth of e-waste volumes in the next ten
years, China and/or India has a mid-term market potential for integrated smelters for
the Asian region.
However, lack of dedicated legislation dealing with e-waste, unclear application of the
Basel Convention, high level of corruption in law enforcement, undefined roles and
responsibilities of stakeholders, low technologies and skills, poor logistics and vulnerable
business and financing conditions are identified as barriers for the transfer of e-waste
technology to India.
Why this Business
Business Potential
As per an estimate 20 to 50 million tonnes of e-waste are generated worldwide every year.
E-waste comprises of more than 5 % of all solid waste generated and the volume is expected
to increase at a rate of 300% per annum in developing countries. In India, the total e-waste
generated is expected to cross 800,000 tons in 2012. This figure is expected to grow at a
rate of 30 – 50 % year on year. Of this, the currently installed and functioning capacity in the
organized sector is only about 100,000 tons. The current market size itself is sufficiently
large and also growing at more than 30 %. Hence there is room for many more new
recyclers in the organized sector.
How to Start
Begin from the top
For any e-waste program to actually become flourishing, top executives should be involved
in the process of taking initiatives and deciding for the budget part as well.
Put some muscle behind it
Setting up E-waste Recycling Business
It's not enough to list e-waste goals in annual reports, specialists say. Companies need to
devote the right time and energy to developing a robust program with milestones and end
Do your homework
Before corporations jump into recycling, they must perceive the e-waste landscape.
Understand what is out there with recyclers, learn the way material moves, how it is
disposed of, and what happens once material is broken down into commodity streams, as a
result of you do not want material in the wrong place or in the wrong hands.
Keep it simple
Consumers do not need to expend plenty of energy in electronic recycling. An on-site dropoff box may be a good way to capture electronic products in need of recycling, specialists
Get everybody within the company on board, particularly staff
Employee satisfaction is very important and it should be very high and positive always for
the recycling business.
Consider partnering with a manufacturer
Almost half of the companies require manufacturers to recycle their merchandise; however
it may be robust for manufacturers to set up suitable collection points where retailers can
tell them about their site. The best is to seek out somebody to partner with – someone that
is used to handling this material, somebody who will also work with you to handle much of
the pressure. Partner should be well aware about what and how they are doing it.
Basic Business Requirements
Infrastructure Requirement
Estimated Project Cost
Land Cost (20000 sq ft to start with)
Plant Cost
Working Capital Cost
Payback Period
Interiors & Furniture
Machinery and equipments:
Dust extractor system
Furnace and Flux and casting moulds
Setting up E-waste Recycling Business
Operational Expenses
The Operational Expenses in this model are:
a. Salaries.
b. Cost of scrap
c. Utilities expenses such as electricity and water.
d. Logistics expenses
e. Marketing expenses
f. Spares and consumables
g. Contingency expenses
Recycling Supply Chain: Opportunities and Challenges
India is at a crossroads with tremendous growth within the industry however it additionally
faces the exponential growth of electronic waste (e-waste). It totally focuses on the chances
of improvement in waste management. It additionally analyses the role of various
stakeholders and policy making by identifying opportunities within the business models
through recovery of precious metals around e-Waste management.
India generates about 500,000 tons of waste annually that is increasing at the speed of 1015%, 70% of which comes from government institutions and business houses. The informal
sector principally referred to as ‘kabadiwalas’ carry out almost 90% of the e-waste
management in India. They are primarily concerned in the dismantling rather than usage
disposed merchandise. Formal reverse supply chain management of e-waste did not happen
till 2004 which brings out the issue of health and safety of the informal recyclers. It
additionally highlights the delayed response of the Indian government caught without any
policy on e-waste management and also the business opportunity within the unexplored
Implementation Challenges for higher e-Waste Management in India
The challenges of e-waste management will be classified as lack of appropriate
infrastructure, rules and regulations, legislation and framework for end-of-life merchandise.
The following describe the implementation challenges for higher e-Waste management in
a. Because of diversion of large chunk of e-wastes from retail shoppers to informal recyclers
and demand-supply mismatch organized e-recyclers are not getting adequate e-wastes to
Setting up E-waste Recycling Business
b. Lack of legislation has been the core concern for e-waste management. There’s no
centralized mandatory or strict legislation during this regard. For better management, the
legislation should clearly outline e-waste and also the limitations in terms of quantities of ewaste generated.
c. Collection centers are present gift only in a few cities in India and also the collection
method for these facilities is restricted because of logistic and geographical issues.
d. Lack of motivation for the highest management of producers is one amongst the most
important considerations and is unable to drive the e-Waste management initiative. 90% of
Indian electronic manufacturing companies and IT Corporation’s do not seem to be in favour
of the EPR concept.
e. Donation of obsolete equipments by corporations to schools without any observance on
what happens to the given material once it reaches its finish of life. Thus the loop of reverse
offer chain is unable to operate in an organized manner.
f. There is no recycler for materials of lamps (CFL bulb, tube light-weight etc.) in India as a
result of cheaper sources in China. Thus lamp recycling may be a great challenge in India.
There’s no recycler for Ni-Cd batteries, alkaline batteries and dry cell batteries within the
country. Such materials are either drop in landfills leading to loss of resources or exported
to authorized recyclers in foreign countries leading to logistic costs.
g. There's a scarcity of licensed recyclers for Ni-MH batteries and Li-ion batteries within the
country. There are some back-yard recyclers for Ni-MH and Li-ion batteries but are
unregistered with the MoEF. Thus formal intermediate recyclers (like E-Parisaraa) are
unable to dispatch them.
E-Parisaraa Pvt. Ltd
Karma Recycling
Exigo Recycling
E-Waste Recyclers India
Attero Recycling Pvt. Ltd
Ramky E-Waste Recycling
Pruthvi E-Recycle Pvt.Ltd.
A2Z E-Waste Management ltd
Earth Sense Recycle Pvt. Ltd
Ash Recyclers
Trackon E-waste Recyclers Pvt. Ltd
Trishyirya Recycling India Pvt. Ltd
Eco E-waste Recyclers India Pvt. Ltd
Eco Recycling Limited
Green World Recycling
Setting up E-waste Recycling Business
Marketing Strategies
Tips for marketing recycling
Communications must be ongoing and consistent.
Participation must be promoted.
Touch on “the basics” such as how, when and where to recycle.
Show the impact of recycling using local factoids
Visually get away from the expected.
The status quo is not enough.
Web sites are often the most overlooked, underutilized marketing tool.
Have an easy to remember Web site address.
There are opportunities to promote your brand and recycling program everywhere
Rules and Regulations
Proposed E-Waste rules
• Producer’s responsibilities include collecting e-waste generated from the end-of-life of
their products; ensure such e-waste is channelled to registered refurbishers, dismantlers or
• Dealers in electrical products shall collect e-waste by providing the consumer a box, bin or
a demarcated area to deposit e-waste
• Producers need to comply with threshold limits for the use of certain hazardous
substances in electronic equipment. Such reduction can be achieved within three years from
the date of commencement of the rules.
• The Ministry of Information and Technology would be responsible for enforcement of
reduction in use of hazardous substances, compliance and for granting incentives and
certification for green design products
• Every dismantler and recycler shall have to be registered
• No import of used electrical and electronic equipment shall be allowed in the country for
• State pollution control boards or committees responsible for grant of authorization,
monitoring compliance of authorization and registration conditions will take action against
violations of rules. The Central Pollution Control Board shall monitor the compliance of
conditions stipulated for granting registration.
• Favours big players and does not recognise the role and importance of the informal sector
• Does not address the existing problems like leakage of e-waste from formal facilities
Setting up E-waste Recycling Business
What is the process to get the required licenses and clearances for starting an e-waste
recycling business?
What all licenses and clearances are required for starting an e-waste recycling business?
What all documents need to submit to apply for consent to establish an e-waste recycling
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