Do I have E-Waste at home?

E-waste is relatively newer term in India. An average Indian would be very oblivious to the term E-waste, leave alone the proper understanding of the harm these cause to our health and environment.

“Update: ZeroWaste is now InstaCash

There has been little or no effort from the Government and the concerned authorities to create awareness about the nature and magnitude of E-Wastes. The Government can be forgiven for its apathy whence it promulgates rules about E-Waste and makes responsible the stakeholders like the producers and handlers of e-waste to create awareness on the issue. Since it is the lives and common future of all citizens at stake we need to make efforts to educate ourselves and create awareness amongst our social circles.

What is E — Waste?

To contain the grave issue we need to know first what constitutes an E — Waste and other important terms associated with it.

E-waste is the waste electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part or rejects from their manufacturing and repair process, which are intended to be discarded.

Orphaned Products — Non-branded or assembled electrical and electronic equipment produced by a company, which has closed its operations or has stopped product support.

Electrical and electronic equipment means equipment, which is dependent on electrical currents or electro-magnetic fields to be fully functional.

The Environment Ministry brought in the E — Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 which became effective from May 2012 in India. These rules have brought in its purview categories of electrical and electronic equipment which contribute to E-Waste.

These categories can be enumerated as under:

IT and telecommunication equipment:

  • Centralized data processing; Mainframes, Minicomputers; Personal computing; Personal computers (Central processing unit with input and output devices), Laptop computers (Central processing unit with input and output devices), Notebook computers, Notepad computers, Printers including cartridges, Copying equipment, Electrical and electronic typewriters, User terminals and systems, Facsimile, Telex, Telephones, Pay telephones, Cordless telephones, Cellular telephones, Answering systems

Consumer electronics:

  • Television sets (including sets based on (Liquid Crystal Display and Light Emitting Diode technology), Refrigerator, Washing Machine, Air-Conditioners excluding centralized air conditioning plants.

If you have any of the above at home or work place kept in a discarded form you have an E-Waste at home. It is very important for you to separate these and hand it over to an authorized E-Waste recycler like Zero Waste in your city.

You may find a Zero Waste Store near you where you can sell them profitably and also become a responsible citizen. To know more Connect with us today at |

Note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

E-Waste — the Toxic Legacy of our Digital Age

Countries, developed and developing alike, are faced with the flip side of development. Societies have adapted to technologies in big ways however the requisite awareness and legal framework needs to be spruced up in consonance with the fast pace fallout of technological residues that we are leaving behind. Some years back, the waste wasn’t much and was thought to have been easily assimilated in the environment. Today it poses a great challenge. The rapid penetration of the electronics and electrical gadgets in the huge markets of developing world and the steep pace of technological innovations making yesterday’s latest devices obsolete in the developed world. This has led to the problem of disposing off the e-waste responsibly in sync with the environment we live and for the future we look at.

“Update: ZeroWaste is now InstaCash

The innocuous looking gadgets that we use in our daily life contain elements and compounds which are very harmful to our well being. A broad categorization of these substances inimical to our health can be done as Halogenated Compounds, Heavy & other Metals and Radio Active substances.

Halogenated compounds like CFC (Choloroflourocarbon) PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyls) are present in Cooling units, insulation foams, cable insulations, fire retardants for plastics, condensers, transformers. Heavy metals like Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, Lithium, Mercury, Nickel, Zinc Sulphide, and Selenium etc are found in CRTs, LEDs, rechargeable batteries, toners, power supply boxes etc. Radio Active substance like Americum is an integral part of medical equipments and fire detectors.

Today we find ourselves awfully placed. As we are making our lives easier and comfortable with the modern electrical and electronic gadgets yet on the other hand we are leaving a toxic legacy. If we do not wake up now, the future will not forgive us for our past. Join ZeroWaste movement in making a healthy and beautiful future.

Note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Phone-throw and junk-dunk: Games to fight E-WASTE

How far can you throw your old mobile phone to save the environment?

“Update: ZeroWaste is now InstaCash

Throwing away old and unused electronics as rubbish or scrap is the beginning of the e-waste problem. It’s a big problem. How do you tell everyone that throwing is bad? Simple. Get them to throw their old and unused mobile phones for a good cause. That’s precisely what Jaipur based startup ZeroWaste did with their “Phone Throwing Championship” and “Junk Dunk” Tournament at the recently concluded tech-fest PLINTH 2015 at LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur.

Phone throwing is simple. ZeroWaste asked participants to bring their old/unused phones and throw them as far as they could or as uniquely as they wished. For safety while throwing the phones were wrapped up tightly with Cellotape so that they wouldn’t shatter and litter the ground. Winners were chosen on the basis of maximum distance thrown (just as in any athletic competition like discus, shot put and javelin or the old school favourite –cricket ball throw).

ZW collected all the phones used by the participants, paid cash rewards for theirold phones and made a 5 min presentation on how a simple decision to exchange your waste/unused/old electronics items for cash at an authorized ewaste collection outlet (ZW has 30+ centers) can make a huge difference to the fight against e-waste in India.

About 500 participants tried their hands at Phone Throw and 3 winners were chosen in each Men, Women and Freestyle categories. While the winners were rewarded with Goodies and T-Shirts, poor performers were “dared” by spectators to do something embarrassing, wacky, funny or all three!

Since E-Waste is not just about mobile phones, ZW invented a unique game called Junk-Dunk. Basically it is Basketball with 4 baskets that we made out of Junk washing machines. Each team had two baskets to shoot at and two to defend. Small tinkering with rules and people went crazy, playing for hours without break.

Participants pledged to join hands with ZeroWaste in making Jaipur the first E-waste free city in the country. Student delegate from Brazil, Pedro Rorato, admitted that like India, Brazil is also lacking the required e-waste recycling ecosystem and public awareness is the key to ensure 100% recycling.

Indians currently generates about 1.5 Million tonnes of waste electronics annually and it will rise exponentially as India bridges its “Digital Divide”. Sensing higer demand for cheap consumer electronics, companies are flooding the market with “designed to dump” products having shorter life and low-grade plastics.

ZeroWaste is upbeat about spreading the word of “buy one recycle one” to millions of Indians who enjoy the fun of modern electronics and technology upgrades but are clueless when it comes to understanding how the ewaste problem is a time bomb ticking under our very noses.

Says Prateek Goel and Sunil Saradhna, founders of ZeroWaste, “We hope to organise a state level and then a national phone throwing event in the coming year and generate huge awareness about responsible e-waste disposal especially among teenagers and youth.”

Way to go !!

To know more Connect with us today at |

Note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.