E-waste typically includes discarded computers and components, cathode ray tubes (CRTs), printed circuit boards (PCB), mobile phones, headphones, wires & cables, and white household goods such as liquid crystal display (LCD), plasma TVs, ACs, refrigerators etc.As per Industry body ASSOCHAM, India’s e-waste generation is likely to increase by nearly three times, from the existing 18 lakh MT per annum to 52 lakh MT per annum by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 30%.
Figure 1: E waste across cities and categories
Despite increasing number of registered recyclers/dismantlers in the country and large volume of E-waste generated, only about 5% of it is processed through formal sector. The remaining is either donated or goes to Kabadiwallas.For example, although Hyderabad generates about 32 000 metric tonnes of E-waste annually the formal sector recyclers whose combined capacity is only around 20,000 tonnes do not get adequate waste.
Source: The Hindu – article dated at June, 2016
Source: ASSOCHAM-Frost & Sullivan study, April, 2016
The biggest e-waste recycling market in India is Delhi and approximately 30% to 40% of the e-waste in India lands there.
E waste recycling process can be divided into two parts; separation and size reduction of metals (aluminium/copper/steel) & plastics andextraction of precious metals. Majority of Indian E waste companies do not have refinery/precious metal recovery facility, due to high capital cost (over INR 8 crores for refinery of 1 tonne per day) and lack of adequate waste availability.
Figure 2: E Waste Dismantling Process
The quality of e waste also plays a big role in deciding the nature of recycling facilities. For example PCB (Printed Circuit Board) around which the business of E waste recycling revolves can be divided into various grades depending on the gold content. As per Umicore, a precious metal refinery in Belgium, the PCBs can be divided into four grades (Table1)
|Table 1: Grades of Printed Circuit Boards|
|PCB Grades||Available in|
|low value (Gold content of 50 PPM or less||TV-boards, monitor boards, printer boards, cordless phones, calculators, shredded bulk material after Al-/Fe-separation etc|
|medium value ( gold content of minimum 100 ppm)||PC-boards, laptop-and handheld-computer circuit boards, etc.|
|high value (gold content of 200 ppm ore more)||Circuit boards from mainframes, mobile phones, ICs, MLCCs|
Whilerefining is useful for high grade PCBs, for low/medium grade PCBS manual dismantling coupled with extraction of copper is a more viable option.
The total number of registered E-waste recyclers in India is 178., whereas Hyderabad has 5. Some of the large players are as under
Source: List of Registered E-Waste Dismantlers/Recyclers in the country (as on 29-12-2016)
Source: Telangana State Pollution Control Board
|Table 2: National E-Waste Recyclers – India|
|Name||Head Quarter||Activities||Capacity (MT/Yr.)||Date of Est.|
|Auctus E-recycling solutions P Ltd.||Noida||Dismantling, Metal-Nonmetal separations, Plastic recycling||21800||2011|
|E- Incarnation||Mumbai||Data security, Refurbishing, Metal- Nonmetal recovery and disposal||3000||2010|
|E-ParisaraaPvt. Ltd.||Bangalore||Data destruction, Dismantling, & Precious metal extraction||8820||September, 2005|
|Earth Sense||Hyderabad||Dismantling, Segregation & Disposal||> 4000||2000|
|Eco Centric Management P. Ltd||Mumbai||E-waste management, CSR initiatives -donations, refurbishment.||2500||January, 2011|
|Eco Recycling Ltd. (ECORECO)||Thane||E-waste recycling, EPR implementation||7200||1994, Formerly InfotrekSyscom|
|Greenspace Eco Management||Delhi||Dismantling, Refurbishing, Take back programs, etc.||60000||2007|
|Ramky ewaste recycling||Hyderabad||Collection, Dismantling, Metal- Nonmetal recovery and Disposal||10000|
|TES AMM India||Kancheepuram||E Waste Recycling, Takeback program||30000||2005|
Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) for various options:
E waste recycling chain begins with a collection centre, which can be set up for Rs. 10 lakhs. However,standalone collection centres are not encouraged to register, unless they are being set up by a recycler/refurbished or an electronic product manufacturer. A collection centre combined with a dismantling unit can be set up for around Rs. 45 lakhs. In India, recycling is restricted to separation of Metal and Non-metal and granulation, as the technology for extraction of precious metal is not economical.
Figure 3: Capex required for Setting up aE waste processing unit
The industry is governed by e waste rules which specify the approvals and infrastructure requirements. The approvals need to be obtained from State pollution control body.
|Table 3: APPROVALS|
|List of Approvals Required||Authorising Body||Remarks|
|CTO – Consent to Operate||Telangana State – Pollution Control Body||These are considered as pre-operations & establishment approvals.|
|CTE – Consent to Establish|
|One time authorisation||Such approvals also often have a validity period.|
|Certificate of registration & Proof of installed capacity||District Industries Centre.||This is a common certificate of registration under any industry and serves as pre-requisite for approvals mentioned above.|
|Table 4: A GLANCE AT E-WASTE MANAGEMENT RULES (2016)|
|Particulars||Collection centres||Dismantling units||Re-cyclers||Refurbishers|
|Who can establish||Producers/Refurbishers/Dismantlers/Recycler, standalone collection centre are not allowed||Any Individual, Company, Society, they must have agreement with e waste generators/producers to procure e waste|
|Restrictions on certain operations||Dismantling units are not allowed Shredding or Leaching of; Circuit Boards, Lamps, Cathode ray tubes CRTs, LCDs and Plasma TVs.||None provided necessary infrastructure is in place.|| Not defined|
|Area required (per tonne of capacity)||300 Sq. Metres.||500 Sq. Metres||150 Sq. Metres|
The profitability of e waste recycling company depends on its access to waste and cost of waste. Cost of waste accounts for around 75-85 per cent of total cost of operations. The revenue depends on the quality of waste collected by the company. For simple dismantling operations, the estimated cost of waste and recovery per tonne is as under:
|Table 5: Unit Economics of Dismantling 1 Tonne assorted E-waste|
|Sl.No.||Material||% Composition (by weight)|| Price INR/KG||Value (INR)|
|7||Other material including precious material||0.08||100||8,000|
| ||Overall value (INR)||25,400|
| ||Cost of waste (INR)||20,000|
| ||Gross Profit (INR)||5,400|
|Source: Paper on Sustainable Electronic Waste Management and Recycling Process by S. Chatterjee, Department of Information Technology, Published in American Journal of Environmental Engineering, 2012|
Other than the raw material cost, which has been discussed above, rentis another significant cost,Assuming a dismantling capacity of 5 tonnes per day, the area requirement @ 300 square meter per tonne of waste is 1500 square meters and rent can be up to INR 3-5 lakhs per annum. Further, there are other fixed overheads such as labour and interest. As such,one needs to process at least 3-5 tonnes per day, just to recover the costs.
Opportunities for a new enterprise
The e waste sector has grown at a slow pace over the last five years, largely due to lack of awareness about e waste rules, absence of strict guidelines for disposal of e waste and challenges from the informal sector recyclers who are able to offer a better price for the waste. However, the regulations around e waste are expected to tighten and would bring unorganised sector into mainstream.
While opportunities for e waste recycling are only expected to increase in future, profitability would depend on the value addition done by the enterprise. Therefore, aspiring e waste companies would also need to build skill sets in e waste segregation and in identifying reusable waste. We believe that
- Dismantling can be a profitable option if you are able to establish a network of waste collection centres and develop skill sets to identify reusable waste
- Setting up a refurbishing centre, where salvaged computers/phones can be repaired using new or old components should also be attractive.
- Recyclers would need a large network of collection centres or need to import waste to ensure capacity utilisation
How we can help you?
We can help you set up E waste recycling unit through a number of services including
- Market viability assessment
- Technical consultation and
- Detailed project report preparation
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