New Delhi: Forthcoming legislation to manage electronic waste could increase the cost of electronic goods as well as place the onus on consumers to ensure that their discarded computers and defunct television sets are given away or sold only to authorized scrap dealers.

While this could greatly boost the nascent organized e-waste recycling sector, it could also mean higher levels of scrutiny by pollution control agencies.

The draft rules, viewed by Mint, mandate producers of electronic equipment to ensure that e-waste is collected, transported to specific recycling units, and safely disposed of. Failure to do so would invite fines as prescribed under the existing Environment Protection Act, or potential closure of the industrial unit. Producers of such equipment will also have to annually apprise the environment ministry of the e-waste collected, the rules propose.

Though the draft has no explicit reference to increased costs to end consumers, a clause says manufacturers have the freedom to levy charges or discounts towards recycling. “The dealers (producer or manufacturer) may give appropriate discount or levy appropriate cost for every used electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) returned by the consumer," the draft says.

Also Read | Blog post by Mint’s senior news editor Nabeel Mohideen on Mint’s decision to run a series on waste.

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