Urban poor

E-Waste: From Toxic to Green

India is the 5th largest e-waste generator in the world, with nearly 1.7 million tonnes of e-waste posing a severe threat in 2014, according to a UN report. Almost 95% of e-waste is burnt or dumped into landfills. Informal waste pickers help clean up India’s cities by recycling approximately 20% of the waste generated. However, these waste pickers still do not have formal recognition, equal rights, secure and safe livelihoods and dignity. In Delhi alone, there are over 25,000 persons earning their living from e-waste collection. Their work exposes them to pollution and dangerous toxins.

In India, only government licensed actors are allowed to collect and recycle e-waste. Very few e-waste recycling companies exist in India. Chintan, a licensed actor, has channeled e-waste to authorized e-waste recyclers by training the urban poor, particularly waste pickers, to collect electronic waste, such as computers and mobile phones, for safe disposal and recycling.

Creating jobs in India to keep e-waste out of landfills


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Paris Agreement

By recycling raw materials from discarded electronics, natural resources are conserved and air and water pollution caused by hazardous disposal is avoided. Recycling e-waste from landfills reduces methane emissions, which are 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. India pledged to reduce its emissions intensity per unit of GDP by 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030. Because methane has such a high global warming potential, and diverting e-waste from landfills reduces methane emissions, Chintan is helping India meet its stated climate goals under the Paris Agreement.


Chintan Environmental Search and Action Group