Report by UPPCB on illegal waste units in Loni, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, 28/09/2020
Compliance report by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) dated 28/09/2020 regarding illegal e-waste units being run in Loni, Ghaziabad.
The report informed the Tribunal that oficers of Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) and tehsil Loni had inspected the area on which the illegal industries were run against prescribed land use in Master Plan of GDA. During the survey, 80 illegal units were identified and action taken against them under the relevant sections of Uttar Pradesh Town Planning and Development Act 1973.
The report said that the unauthorized units in Loni were small establishments engaged in burning, etching or smelting only. Waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs) were a 'high-value' commodity to both the formal and informal e-waste recycling industry. WPCBs contain a variety of metals ranging from base metals like copper and aluminium to precious metals like gold, silver, platinum and palladium as well as critical metals of rare earth metals among others.
Once the WPCBs reach the informal sector, all the components on the boards are removed using screwdrivers, pliers and gas torches. Also, the board itself had considerable amount of metal, primarily copper and tin, thus to extract copper the boards are dipped in acid baths for purpose of leaching.
This was the type of waste in Loni region of Ghaziabad. The board was bereft of most metallic fractions and represents what was known as the non metallic fractions, which might constitute of epoxy resin, glass fiber and some copper with impurities. These boards possess an environmental risk and need to be disposed off by means of fine pulverization and used further as fillers. Incineration or landfilling such waste is a short term and capital intensive process.
The UPPCB report suggested that considering the amount of waste not only in Loni region but elsewhere as well, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) may consider to tap the Producers under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) clause as dumping and channelization of electronic waste from different parts of the country was a result of the failure of the producers to bring back the e-waste into the formal collection channels as per E-Waste Management Rules, 2016. For the purpose of disposal of bare polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) waste, the CPCB could consider setting up a pilot fine pulverization unit or a unit based on any other technology that CPCB may deem fit.