Session 7

Raw Material flow in Informal Sectors in India
LAKSHMI RAGHUPATHY
TERI University, New Delhi, India

Recycling has been in practice in India since time immemorial and is mostly is carried out in the informal sector. Such operations are considered as secondary level activity. The scrap dealers and waste collectors are important links in the recycling value chain as they comprise of the starting point for the recycling activity. The informal recyclers produce resource form waste which is channelized as raw material for major production activity.
In India most of the recycling takes place in the informal sector which comprises of tiny unorganized units located in almost all cities. These informal sectors have excellent reach for the secondary raw material and a good networking to access such material in the shortest possible time. However the recycling activities cause potential damage to environment and also lead to health hazards due to the use of polluting and outdated technologies. The present study pertains to an evaluation of the existing systems and to evolve a mechanism to adopt the Best Practices to increase efficiency in recovery. The study showed that the there is a potential for skill development to suit the local conditions and contribute to the Informal Economy by value addition to the waste. At this juncture large recycling units would be required to be a part of the value chain to further process the material using Best Available Technologies (BAT) for better environment management and enhanced resource recovery.
In this paper an attempt has been made to identify the steps required to be taken towards environmentally sound management of the ‘end-of-life’ vehicles. The challenge remains how to integrate the informal sector into the main stream activity.