Recycling Technologies & 3Es Concept

Recycling Technologies & 3Es Concept

LAKSHMI RAGHUPATHY

TERI University, New Delhi, India

Recycling has been one of the important economic activities for India, however, recycling has been associated with the secondary level activities providing jobs for the urban poor. Mostly the informal sector comprising of the tiny unorganized micro-enterprises located in and around urban areas have been engaged in the activity. This has lead to the environmental and health hazards due to hazardous operations using highly polluting technologies. The scenario is changing with the large recycling companies entering in this sector with an expectation to use the Best Available Technologies (BAT) for enhanced resource recovery and reduce the environment and health impacts. However, it is not clear whether such units would be able to achieve the economically viable processing

This paper is an approach for optimization of the recycling technologies to achieve the 3E principle. The focus is on the use of Environmentally Sound Technologies, conservation of Energy in the processing and adoption of Economically viable solutions. The paper provides an insight into the prevailing practices and proposes the best practices in recycling with the specific roles of the informal and formal recycling sectors such that the activities are complementing to each other. In this paper the advantages on the use of techniques such as segregation at source, manual operations and wet processing of waste are compared with the energy intensive mechanical processes and smelting technologies. The paper also describes the 3E (Environment, Energy and Economics) model and its applicability in waste recycling industry. The main objective of this paper is to explore the optimal operational pathways for the countries in transition of economies.