The vast majority (around 95%) of Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE or e-waste) in India is managed informally. Poor working conditions and crude techniques for dismantling and recycling within the informal sector have an adverse effect on the environment and the physical well-being of thousands of people. One approach to preventing more harmful effects from occurring is to integrate actors from the informal economy into formal e-waste value chains (e.g. by linking informal collectors to authorised recyclers). Through recent years, a number of initiatives have tried to achieve exactly this, yet with mixed success.
What are the drivers and barriers to leveraging such formal-informal partnerships? In this study, adelphi and its project partners looked into a number of prominent case studies, which are (or were) positioned at the nexus of the formal and informal sector, in order to identify the determining factors for a successful cooperation between the two sectors.
The authors of “Building the Link” conducted numerous in-depth interviews with representatives from initiatives that carry out collection, dismantling and/or recycling of WEEE in close cooperation with stakeholders from the informal economy. Based on these interviews, the expert team has developed suggestions for the design of partnerships and provides recommendations for their longevity, replication and scale-up. The findings of the analysis aim to deliver valuable insights for the effective implementation of the recently passed E-Waste Management Rules, 2016 in India.
The study was commissioned by the GIZ advisory project on Sustainable Solid Waste Management and Circular Economy on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). More information about the sector project on Sustainable Solid Waste Management and Circular Economy can be accessed via GIZ’s website.