What is E-Waste ?

What is E-Waste?

E-waste means any waste electrical and electronic equipment, which has become obsolete with its misuse, breakage, and downgrade. These are generally found lying discarded at our homes and work places. These equipment, devices or gadgets can be repaired, refurbished for further use. In their irreparable condition, these can be extracted in whole or in part, for elements that can still be to augment in the manufacture of other devices.

How is E-waste different from the normal municipal waste,

Toxic Nature of E-Waste :  The electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) which lay discarded at home and work place is the ready source of Harmful and hazardous substances. These E-Wastes are not only inimical to health but also very poisonous to our environment. EEE are made up of substance, which when occur in nature are harmless. however, when extracted and used in manufacturing of EEE they become very harmful.

How it affects our health and environment when dumped?

E-Wastes contain Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and flame retardants that cause multiple toxic Problems. If not properly handled these leach into our natural water reservoirs and rivers. Untreated water finds a way back into our farms, forests and foods. Some of these are very fatal and once released into the environment contaminate all our surroundings with far reaching harmful for generations to come.

E–Waste & their Toxic Compounds

For easy reference, listed under are the commonly found E–Waste in our lives and the toxic elements / compounds or the product they effuse at the end of their life cycle:

E–Waste Form Element / Compound (in alphabetical order) Harmful Effects
Medical equipment, Fire detectors, active sensing element in smoke detectors Americium Once in the body, americium-241 tends to concentrate in the bone, liver, and muscle. It can stay in the body for decades and continue to expose the surrounding tissues to radiation, and increase your risk of developing cancer. When released in the environment, it contaminates air, soil and water.
LED (Light Emitting Diodes) Arsenic (Gallium Arsenide) Extreme exposure to Arsenic can lead to Skin diseases, reduced nerve conduction and Lung Cancer.
CRT, Spark Plugs, Fluorescent Lamps Barium Can lead to Brain Swelling, Muscle atrophy, Damage to heart, liver & spleen,
Power Supply Boxes & X Ray Lenses Beryllium Inhalation of beryllium dust, fumes or mist can cause, Lung Cancer & Berillycosis. Skin exposed to beryllium can lead to poor wound healing and wart-like bumps.
Fire retardants for Plastics, Printed Circuit Boards and Casings Brominated Fire Retardants - Tetrabromo-Bisphenol-A, Polybrominated Biphenyls, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers Burning these materials release dioxins & other toxins which lead to Severe Hormonal Disorder.
Rechargeable NiCd-batteries, Fluorescent layer (CRT screens), Printer inks and toners, Photocopying-machines (printer drums) Cadmium Cadmium is taken into our bodies through Respiration & Food. It has strong tendency to accumulate in our bodies and environment. It leads to severe damage of Kidneys & Lungs. Causes flu like symptoms, weakness, fever, headaches, muscular pain, Pulmonary Emphysema & Bone Disease.
Cooling Units, Insulation Foams CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) When released into the atmosphere, they accumulate in the stratosphere and have a deleterious effect on the ozone layer. This results in increased incidence of Skin Cancer in Humans and in Genetic Damage in many organisms.
Data Tapes, Floppy Disks Chromium Cellular changes & DNA damage. Harmful to eyes, skin & mucous membrane
Lead-acid batteries, Electronic Components, Cable Sheathing, CRT Glass & Solders Lead Appetite loss, Abdominal pain, Constipation, Fatigue, Sleeplessness, Irritability and headache. Kidney Damage, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Convulsions, Coma or even Death. Amongst young children, it can damage nervous connections and cause blood and brain disorders.
Batteries, some switches and thermostats, and fluorescent lamps Mercury Bio-accumulates causing brain and liver damage if ingested or inhaled
Dielectric fluids for capacitors and transformers, Heat transfer fluids and as additives in adhesives and plastics. Poly Chlorinated Bi Phenyls Serious non-cancer health effects in animals, including effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, endocrine system and other health effects. PCBs are persistent contaminants in the environment.
Cable insulation Poly Vinyl Chloride When burnt produces large quantities of hydrogen chloride gas, which combines with water to form hydrochloric acid and is dangerous because when inhaled, leads to respiratory problems.
Older photocopying-machines (photo drums) Selenium Selenosis causes hair loss, nail brittleness, and neurological abnormalities (such as numbness and other odd sensations in the extremities).
Interior of CRT screens, mixed with rare earth metals. Dry Cell Batteries Zinc Sulphide Exposure to large amounts of zinc can be harmful. It can cause stomach cramps, anemia, and changes in cholesterol levels

Why citizens are a part as well as solution to this problem?

As we now understand the damaging and far reaching permanent effects the Electronic Wastes have on our health, immediate surroundings, environment and the lives of future generations to come. It is also time to understand how these get released in the environment.

The electronic and electrical appliances until their utility lives, are pretty innocuous. However beyond their lives they start disintegrating into harmful compounds. Unaware of repercussions we often sell it to the scrap dealers or the Kabadiwala or throw these in open places, thinking these to be similar to the household wastes. Our very actions enhance their deleterious effects.

A Kabadiwala typically does the following:

  • Burns off Circuit Board
  • Acid Strips the appliances
  • Burns the cables in the open
  • CRT Cracking & Dumping

These above unscientific and illegal actions cause to release toxic elements like brominated flame retardants (BFRs), PVCs and phosphorus compounds with resistant toxins that can bio-accumulate in humans. They become Carcinogenic when burnt openly. Mostly carried out by the unorganized recyclers their crude recycling causes serious air and water pollution.

Unorganised recycling sector, to remain competitive employs Child Labour robbing these children of their health and well being.

Thousands of hard drives, memory & storage devices are discarded or thrown into the open and grey areas exposing to great Privacy & Security Risk to data.

Our fascination for newer technologies has resulted in the rising demand of electronics and their improper, illegal recycling increasing pressure on mining.

What can you do?

Every day we add 50 million tonnes of e-waste each year. This is almost 240 truck-loads of waste each minute.

Recycling 1 Computer, 1 Laptop, 1 Television, 1 Cell phone equals saving emissions from burning of 125L Petrol or Diesel

  • Be Aware

    Our lack of awareness on the proper ways and our rights to live in a pollution free environment is the major hurdle in tackling the issue. The Government and various committees & boards cannot alone be made responsible for the acts of its citizen. These are regulatory and penalizing agencies. But our health, our lives, and our immediate environment should be our concerns too! As responsible citizens of the 21st centuries we need to arm ourselves with all the information which has the potential to affect our lives directly or indirectly.

  • Exercise your Right to live in a Healthy Environment & Better Future

    To safe guard the environment and ensure proper disposal of E - Waste under the Extended Producers Responsibility of E-Wastes Rules 2011, all producers of Electronic and Electrical Equipment, who manufacture and sell, are made responsible for their products beyond manufacturing to ensures environmentally sound management of their end of life products.

    So ask, enquire about how the manufacturers are disposing their responsibilities? Ask them how your health and environment are kept safe? It is your right to ask and demand to live in a healthy environment.

  • Act Responsibly!

    Your discarded mobile, laptop or computer could end up in wrong hands. Illegal scrap handlers dispose the E-waste into our water reservoirs polluting the water that we drink.

  • Ensure your discarded electronic device is handled securely and responsibly.

    Be a little Responsible, always hand over your discarded E-Devices to authorized e-waste handlers. ZeroWaste, as an authorized e-waste handler, is committed to find and scientifically dispose off and recycle all E-waste as per the laws of Land & Nature.

    Next time you buy an electronic item be sure you buy from a complying producer who respects the environment, law and your health. Let's be a little responsible ourselves.

    Connect with ZeroWaste in its efforts to get rid of our cities of all e-waste.


ZeroWaste - The Responsible & Effective solution


  • Responsible & Authorized E-Waste Handler

    ZeroWaste has perfected the art of urban mining with recycling e-wastes into refurbished e-goods or extracting the best possible utility from the components or turning these into elements which can be harmlessly accommodated into the ecosystem.

  • ZeroWaste Fair Price

    ZeroWaste turns your old and disused device into great opportunities which you never thought existed. Apart from responsibly offering an extended life to your gadget and clearing your home from clutter, ZeroWaste also gives a fair price on your obsolete or damaged gadget, earning you instant cash.

    So turn your old gadget into opportunities. Connect with us today for more details and to know fair price offered on your appliance.

  • ZeroWaste Collection Centres

    ZeroWaste Collection centres, dotting much on the Local Map and increasing in numbers to be as closer to people, are excellent points where anyone can dispose their Old, damaged and discarded electronic and electrical devices in a very responsible way.

    These centres are scientifically equipped to evaluate your gadgets and devices to instantly Pay you in Cash for that ZeroWaste takes your e-waste from you at the centre.

  • "Buy One, Recycle One" at Electronic Showrooms

    ZeroWaste has tied up with Electronics showrooms in Rajasthan & Gujarat for a year round ZeroWaste Smart Exchange offer. It is a great opportunity to exchange your old gadget in Cash or Smart credits to avail amazing discounts on your new purchase. Also you get to become environmentally responsible. Each electronic you give to ZeroWaste, goes for responsible recycling.

    All you have to do is to look out for "Smart Exchange by ZeroWaste – Available Here" signs at participating electronic outlets and get your old mobile phones, laptops, computers etc smartly exchanged for new electronic gadgets.

  • Social Enterprise

    ZeroWaste is a social enterprise designed to bring value and meaning to the existing lives with its solutions for the ills that come along from development. It also offers commercial sense to make its efforts sustain the viability run. It is with the participation of one and all that ZeroWaste believes to tackle the problems of E-Waste.



Download E-Waste Laws: