Workshop: E-Waste Management - Issues & Challenges

E-waste (electronic waste) is a prominent emerging problem in India. A recent study by Assocham declares India among the top five countries in e-waste generation. Despite initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) and Smart Cities, India is still producing high amount of e-waste.

Event Information

September 11 to 12, 2019

Organizer: DWIH New Delhi, RWTH Aachen University, Max Planck Society


India’s annual e-waste generation was 1.8 million metric tonnes (MT) in 2016 and is expected to reach 5.2 million MT by 2020. Due to the lack of infrastructure only 5 % of e-waste can be recycled in India; 95% is still being managed by the unorganized sector and scrap dealers.

Around 25,000 workers including children are involved in crude dismantling units in Delhi alone where 10,000–20,000 tonnes of e-waste is handled every year by bare hands.

A direct contact with harmful components of e-waste such as lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame-retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), from inhalation of toxic fumes, as well as from contaminated soil, water and food due to accumulation of chemicals may lead to health risks. In addition the emissions of these persistent organic pollutants can also perturb the atmospheric chemistry and climate by altering the concentration of several important atmospheric gases on regional scale. Further, when the hazardous components, are being processed, e-waste can give rise to a number of toxic by-products likely to affect human health. Furthermore, recycling activities such as unorganized dismantling of electrical equipment under inappropriate supervision may potentially bear an increased risk of injury

During the last few years, the dire need of strategic interventions in the field of e-waste has been highlighted. To minimise the implications of these pollutants it is important to have sustainable solutions and promote use of renewable sources including for the production of battery components. It requires involving industry – academia collaborations encompassing the spectrum of fundamental research, technology development, improved e-waste management, and effective policy making.

The Indian Government has an understanding of e-waste as a significant emerging problem for the country. New policies and reforms are introduced by the government to get a grip on this growing menace, the implementation of such policies, however, in different sectors still remains a challenge mainly due to the lack of its implication on climate and ecosystem health.

This two-day workshop will serve as a platform to industry, academia, research institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and policy makers to discuss the research, technologies, and policies required to manage e-waste and its larger climate and societal impact.

For further details, please contact:

Ms Sanju Kumari

Head of India Office
RWTH Aachen University
Phone: +91 11 40346024

Ms Poonam Sehgal Suri

Representative of Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (India Office)
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft – India Office
Phone: +91-11-4978 9805

IIT Madras

IIT Madras

Address: Indian Institute Of Technology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600036
Phone: 044 2257 8004