Waste Management Compliance

Waste Management Compliance
24 July 2019

Waste Management Compliance

The present article breaks down the regulatory framework required for the various industries to function or even exist and the legal sanctions/penalties to be met in failure of its Compliance. Waste-Generation in India is directly proportional to the growth and development of Industries and factories. 

Legal Compliance to be met for Waste Management 

Under the Umbrella Act of Environment Protection Act, 1986 in Conjunction with The Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Central Govt. Via notification in the Official Gazette, can draw legislation with respect to the standards of air-quality/soil, the maximum permissible limits of the environmental pollutants, procedures, and prevention when dealing with hazardous substances and so on Under Section 6, EPA, 1986. 

I. Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 

The BMW Rules, 1998 provide for the Legal obligations on the health care-facilities to well-organize the process of hospital waste-disposal, segregation, treatment, and collection with respect to either human beings or animals. The healthcare facilities include:  

  1. hospitals
  2. nursing homes 
  3. clinics
  4. dispensaries 
  5. veterinary institutions 
  6. animal houses 
  7. pathological laboratories 
  8. blood banks. 

Rules of Compliance: Every establishment generating/involved with BM waste needs to follow the following procedure: 

  1. Submit an application for the authorization from the State Pollution Control Board. - Grant provided is time-barred i.e. authorizes for 3 years and needs to be renewed on its lapse. [Rule 8(1), BMW Rules,1998] - accompanied by a fee as prescribed by the Center/State Government. [Rule 8(3), BMW Rules, 1998] 
  2. Strict guidelines to abide by: - No adverse effect on the environment or human health - Segregation in vessels during the Generation of BM waste. - Handled and to be disposed of in accordance with the standards set. 
  3. All such institutions need to either set treatment facilities or make sure the BM waste is treated at a common waste-treatment facility. 
  4. An annual return to be sent to the State Pollution Control Board with specifics of classifications and amount of BM waste managed. Legal Sanction- Non-compliance of the above rules shall lead to a penalty of 1,00,000 INR and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years. - General Sanction under the EPA, Act. 
II. The Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001 

Ensures safe disposal of abandoned lead-acid batteries and its components entailing all stakeholders. The above rule is applicable to every- 

  1. manufacturer 
  2. importer 
  3. re-conditioner 
  4. assembler 
  5. dealer 
  6. recycler 
  7. auctioneer 
  8. bulk consumer (purchase of more than 100 batteries) 
  9. consumer 

Rules of Compliance: Every SPCB has to submit an annual-compliance-report to the CPCB. Every establishment generating/involved with batteries needs to follow the following procedure: 

  1. Application for registration of the Importer or renewal at the BRMS (Batteries Registration and Management System). The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is responsible for the registration of the Importer in Accordance with Rule 5 in The Batteries(M&H) Rules, 2001. 
  2. Authorization/ Registration Of recyclers- granted by the SPCB/Pollution Control Committee in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CPCB. 
  3. Bulk-Consumers need to file half yearly returns with the SPCB. 
  4. An advance custom-clearance required in cases of import of batteries in India via Foreign Countries for the purpose of recycling. 

Legal Sanction- Non-compliance of the above rules shall lead to a penalty of 1,00,000 INR and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years. - General Sanction under the EPA, Act. 

III. The E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 

Provides for subjects of disposal, import and recycle of the e-waste. E-waste produced can be in whole or in part. - Applicable on every 

  1. producer 
  2. consumer 
  3. manufacturer 
  4. bulk consumer
  5. involved in trade, processing or production.  

Rules of Compliance: 

III.a. For producers collection during manufacture and from ‘end of life’ products Collection-centers to be set up separately or in cooperation. Funding and managing a system to provide for the end-of-life product e-waste Contact details of the Collection center to be given to the consumers/bulk-consumers. Raise Public Awareness with regard to hazards of mishandling of e-waste etc. As per Rule 9- Authorization to be obtained by The SPCB/ Pollution Control Committee. Records-maintenance and return filing will be made.

III.b.For Collection Centers As per rule 9- authorization from the SPCB/Pollution Control Committee and mention the contact details- address, contact-no, etc. Ensure safe-storage prior to reaching the dismantler. 

Ensure storage and transportation causes NO HARM Maintenance of records. 

III.c. For Dismantler: Authorization and registration via SPCB/Pollution Control Committee. Ensure NO HARM No adverse effects on the environment and human health Standard guidelines for the dismantling process set by the CPCB to be met Separation of waste and its transport to registered-recycling facilities need to be assured. Non-recyclable and non-reclaimable materials to be transported to a standard-registered storage or disposal facility. Cannot recycle unless registered for the same with SPCB. Return filings will be made.

III.d. For Recyclers: Authorization and registration- as per Rule 9,11. Facility and steps/techniques as per the strict guidelines provided by the CPCB. Records Maintained and for inspection accessible by the SPCB/CPCB etc. Silt waste to be sent to Hazardous-Waste-Management-storage-disposal units. Annual return filing will be made.

Legal Sanction- Non-compliance of the above rules shall lead to cancellation/suspension of the authorization. 

IV. The Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 

It provides legislation with regard to manufacture, usage, and recycling of any kind of plastic waste. - Applicable to all 

  1. manufacturers 
  2. stockers 
  3. distributors 
  4. retailers 
  5. consumers 

Rules of Compliance: 

  1. Recyclers to get registration with SPCB. Validity is for 3years. 
  2. Plastic bags not to be given by any retailer for no cost. Cost to be incurred for its usage as per rule 10.
  3. Rules for the segregation of virgin, renewable or compostable plastic need to be complied with.    

Legal Sanction- Non-compliance of the above rules shall lead to a penalty of 1,00,000 INR and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years. - General Sanction under the EPA, Act. 

V. The Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling, and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2001 

Provides a regulatory framework for production, repository, reuse, recycle, import and treatment of hazardous wastes (HW). Any waste that separately or in combination with something can have an adverse effect on health and environment is Hazardous waste. 

Rules of Compliance: 

For Occupiers: Every occupier of the facility needs to be authorized under SPCB. Thus, responsible for the safe handling of such wastes. 

  1.  An Occupier must sell HW only to the registered recycling facilities.
    1. Transport in accordance with the prescribed guidelines.
    2. Take precautionary measures to avoid accidents.
    3. Raise awareness about HW.
    4. Filing of annual returns and maintenance of records as prescribed. 
    5. For the renewal of authorization, SPCB shall check if any of the conditions were violated during the previous authorization.
  2. Actual users of HW need to maintain records in a pass-book issued by the SPCB. Handing over of HOW to be made only after entry in the Pass-book of the actual-user. 

For Import/Transboundary Movement: The rules prescribed are given below

  1. Disposal In India from other countries not permitted. 
    1. Import of HW for other purposes like recycling etc requires prior authorization from the Ministry of Environment and Forest and the export Nation.
    2. Samples of HW or other wastes for purpose of research or examination exempted from the rule if quantity is up to 1000gm or 1000ml.
  2.  In cases of permission via fraud means, illegal traffic in accordance with International-Environment-Laws shall be framed. 

Legal Sanction- Non-compliance of the above rules shall lead to cancellation or suspension of authorization by the State Pollution Control Board. 

Conclusion: 

The need for sustainable development has been recently recognized by the regulators thus imposing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on Companies via Companies Act, 2013. 

The compliance of such rules is ensured by the strict rules imposed which if violated would lead to cancellation, suspension of the authorization or few might even lead to imprisonment and hefty fines. 

Hence, compliance with the Environment laws is a necessity to be fulfilled for creating goodwill in the market as well as sustaining the environment.