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E-waste recycling process - All the steps that go into it

Srushti Tete
E-waste recycling process - All the steps that go into it

Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) has experienced exponential growth on the global market in recent years. Their product life has been getting shorter and shorter. Consumers are being forced to dispose of outdated electronics quickly due to the rapid technological advancements. All these factors are increasing the need for an integrated E- waste recycling process.

Electronic garbage, also known as e-waste, is currently the waste stream with the fastest rate of growth. In 2019, customers worldwide disposed of 53.6 million tonnes of electronics, a 20 percent increase over the previous five years, according to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2020. China and the USA were the top two producers of e-waste in 2014, with 10.1 million tonnes and 6.9 million tonnes respectively. India came in third with 3.2 million tonnes of e-waste generated in 2014.

E-waste is a serious issue because it frequently contains materials that have a variety of negative effects on both the world and the human body.Therefore, e-waste can affect all living things if it is not managed (reused, recycled, or disposed of) sustainably by leaching dangerous chemicals into the land, entering our food chain, or coming into touch with our skin. Certain substances can also be hazardous just by being inhaled.

What Exactly Is E-Waste Recycling?

To answer this query, we must first define e-waste. 

So what is e-waste?

The abbreviation "e-waste" stands for electronic garbage. Specifically, waste produced by damaged, surplus, and outdated electronic equipment. People may also refer to it as e-waste scraps.

These electronics typically include dangerous substances and harmful chemicals. Additionally, improper e-waste disposal may result in the release of harmful compounds into the environment.

The processing and reuse of these electronic wastes are then referred to as "e-waste recycling." It is straightforward. It is a procedure that aims to recover materials from electronic waste. After this you can use them in new electronic products.

E-waste recycling is one of the topics that receives the most attention because of its ability to lessen environmental risks and pollution. The lives of humans and other living things in our globe can also be protected by it. E- waste recycling is referred to as recycling of electrical and electronic equipment of any kind that has been discarded or deemed obsolete.

What is the e-waste recycling process ?

The repurposing and recycling of electronic wastes is referred to as "e-waste recycling." It's a method that aims to salvage materials from electronic waste. In this way you can utilize them in brand-new electronic goods.

Recycling electronics can be a difficult task. This is due to the fact that e-waste scraps are frequently sophisticated. E-waste includes many materials, including metals, polymers, and glass. There are general steps to recycle e-waste though it frequently differs.

We have listed down all the steps that go into the E-waste recycling process:

Manual Sorting

Workers classify the e-waste into categories based on their types and models once it has been collected and sent to the e-waste collection site. Then, once each electronic item is checked, the parts that are still usable are removed and put to use. These pieces can either be sold separately or joined together to create a new phone or computer. The unusable electronic garbage that is left behind will be processed for recycling. All of this process is usually carried out by professional e-waste recycling companies.

De-manufacturing & shredding 

The importance of recycling e-waste is in extracting both useful and harmful parts from it. This is done through de-manufacturing and shredding to properly dispose of everything from the e-waste. This is the process of breaking down a product into its component parts. This process is used to remove all potentially harmful components from electronic gadgets that, if disposed of in landfills, could damage the equipment or poison the environment. 

E-waste is broken down into tiny bits through shredding. These microscopic pieces  are painstakingly sorted before being disassembled. Typically, this requires a lot of labor because garbage is currently being separated into its component parts.

Materials are then divided into core materials and components. These things are subsequently categorized after being sorted. These products fall into two categories: those that can be recycled further and those that can be used right away.

Dust Removal

Through a process of shaking, the minute waste particles are evenly distributed on the conveyor belt. The evenly dispersed electronic trash particles are then broken down even more. At this point, the dust is recovered and properly disposed of without harming the environment. This prevents environmental deterioration.

Magnetic Extraction

All the ferromagnetic substances that are highly susceptible to magnetization, such as iron and steel, will first be drawn to a massive magnet. When an electric current is induced by an alternating magnetic field with a repulsive force, paramagnetic materials—materials that are weakly attracted to magnets—will be bounced away, whereas other non-magnetic materials, like plastic, will simply keep moving.

Water Separation

Water is used to further separate the waste. Almost all of the non-magnetic materials left over at this point are processed via another machine that is filled with water, where items with a low relative density, like plastic, flow while other materials, like glass, sink. Before recycled materials are sold, it is important to evaluate if any valuable materials are still adhered to the plastic.


For several reasons, relevance of e-waste management in India is a critical issue. It has a significant impact on both life on Earth and on our society . If properly done, e-waste disposal and management guarantees substantial economic gains for individuals, communities, and even entire countries.

Many people have started to take advantage of the abundance of chances that e-waste recycling offers. Entrepreneurs in underdeveloped countries are utilizing e-recycling as a reliable business stream and furthering environmental objectives.

The steps are simple to follow even though they may be labor-intensive. There are various processes involved, which you can easily follow, starting with gathering and sorting all the way to getting everything ready for sale. You will reap considerable benefits from recycling e-waste and will contribute to saving the environment as well.

Srushti Tete
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