The new Hazardous Waste Rules aims to ensure resource recovery and disposal of hazardous waste in environmentally sound manner. The Rules are environment and industry- friendly. The provisions of the new Rules are in line with this Government’s priority for Ease of Doing Business and Make in India, but with responsible concerns for sustainable development. These rules distinguish between hazardous wastes and other wastes like Waste tire, paper waste, and metal scrap, used electronic items which can be recycled and reused. Following are the salient features of the Rules-
- Incorporation of waste management hierarchy in the sequence of priority of prevention, minimization, reuse, recycling, recovery, co-processing; and safe disposal.
- The basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs), specific to waste type, which has to be complied by the stakeholders and ensured by SPCB/PCC while granting such authorization.
- The process of import/export of waste under the Rules has been streamlined by simplifying the document-based procedure and by revising the list of waste regulated for import/export.
- The import of metal scrap, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipments for re-use purpose have been exempted from the need of obtaining Ministry’s permission.
- Responsibilities of State Government for environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes have been introduced as follows:
- To set up/ allot industrial space or sheds for recycling, pre-processing and other utilization of hazardous or other waste
- To register the workers involved in recycling, pre-processing and other utilization activities.
- To form groups of workers to facilitate setting up such facilities;
- To undertake industrial skill development activities and ensure safety and health of workers.
- State Government is authorized to prepare integrated plan for effective implementation of these provisions, and have to submit annual report to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- State Pollution Control Board is mandated to prepare an annual inventory of the waste generated; waste recycled, recovered, utilized including co-processed; waste re-exported and waste disposed and submit to the Central Pollution Control Board by the 30th day of September every year.
Additionally, the following items have been prohibited from import-
- Waste edible fats and oil of animals, or vegetable origin;
- Household waste;
- Critical Care Medical equipment;
- Tyres for direct re-use purpose;
- Solid Plastic wastes including Pet bottles;
- Waste electrical and electronic assemblies scrap;
- Other chemical wastes especially in solvent form.