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  • What is the process to get the required licenses and clearances for starting an e-waste and/or battery recycling business in India?
    Form a company. Do all the normal registrations like the SSI license, MSME registration, Udyog aadhar etc. through standard application process. After you get these registrations, you need to submit an application for consent of establishment to the state pollution control board. Along with this application you need to submit a project report giving details of the technology and pollution control and abatement equipment to be used. The land on which the project is supposed to be constructed also needs to be mentioned along with the relevant land right papers.
  • Can I do both e-waste and battery recycling in the same premises?
    No. The requirements for e-waste and batteries are very different. Also the licenses for both battery and e-waste are distinct.
  • What all licenses and clearances are required for starting an e-waste recycling business in India?
    SSI license, Udyog Aadhar, MSME registration is required from the Ministry of Industry. Consent to Establish, Registration and Consent to Operate are required from the State Pollution Control Board.
  • What is the list of documents I need to submit at the time of consent for e-waste/battery recycling business in India?
    Site Plan / Index, Topographical map, Detailed layout of plant of different processes, point sources of effluent discharge/ emissions and position of stack and documents including DG set capacity in KVA, Process Flow Sheet, Details of devices proposed for water and air pollution control, SSI Certificate/NOC from Directorate of Industries, Consent fees in form of DD favouring MPCB Local Body NOC Undertaking on revenue stamp paper or CA certificate about proposed capital investment Power and water supply sanction letters from the respective bodies, etc are required. The entire list is available on every state pollution control board website. Apart from this the Central Pollution Control Board may come up with additional requirements.
  • Do I need a GST number?
    Yes. GST number is required. However if your turnover is less than 20 Lakhs, it is not mandatory.
  • Is GST applicable to recycling business?
    Yes. Applicable @ 18% as of May 2024.
  • Can I import scrap?
    It is not a direct and open import for e-waste. Batteries are currently being imported. For importing e-waste there is a very elaborate process and generally it is not allowed. Appropriate documentation is required for each consignment along with a consent from the Ministry of Environment and Forests as well as the customs. Further, after recycling, the recycling certificates and material balance statements also need to be provided. Disclaimer - The above answer may not be accurate in all aspects. However it captures the essence.
  • Do I need to have the facility in a State registered industrial zone like MIDC, GIDC etc?
    It is not required to have the facility in MIDC or industrial zone. However, it is easier to get the required licenses, power, water supply, transportation facility etc. While not mandatory, it is recommended to be in an industrial area. You can have a non-industrial NA land plot anywhere. As long as it is not near residential area and at least 500 meters away from a water source, you can construct your facility there.
  • Is any kind of environmental clearance required? Where do you get it?
    Environmental Clearance is not required if you are going for a dry process. Till dismantling level or upto mechanical metal - non metal separation, generally EC is not required. For wet process when chemicals get involved, EC is mandatory. So for recovery of precious metals through chemical processes, EC is mandatory.
  • What is the content of a single PCB?
    Every PCB is different. There is no standard or fixed content for a PCB. PCBs of different equipment are different and consist of different components. Hence their composition is different. However in general it can be said that a PCB contains metals such as Copper, Aluminium, Gold, Silver, Tin, Lead, Nickel, Zinc, etc. Please refer to our WEEE composition document for an idea about average composition values. You can contact us for the same.
  • Is e-waste / battery recycling activity profitable?
    If done in the right way, e-waste or battery recycling activity is definitely profitable. You can expect an ROI of anywhere between 35-65% depending on the type of e-waste you can collect. We can help you arrive at an ROI estimation as a part of our consulting services.
  • How easy is the recycling business to operate?
    From an operations perspective, it is a fairly straightforward process. Assuming that you have the raw material and the labour in place, the operational process is a well defined and predictable one.
  • How difficult is the e-waste/battery recycling business?
    e-waste / battery recycling business is exactly as difficult as any other business. It has the same types of risks and requires the same entrepreneurial skills.
  • How much land should I invest in for the project? What is the minimum requirement?
    It depends on the capacity. Respose machinery requires about 800-1000 sq ft. for an entry level plant. Apart from the machinery, you will require space for parking, unloading, warehousing, dismantling, administrative area, utility area etc. All put together, for a project of capacity of about 1000 tons a year we recommend a built up area of around 10000 sq ft.
  • What is the typical complete project cost for e-waste and for batteries recycling facility?
    Typical project cost includes land, building, machinery, labour, raw material, and other operating expenses. Considering a project with 1000 TPA collection, The machinery cost is around 40 lakhs for L1 and L2 processes. Land and building costs are variable depending on mode of purchase and the location. All Operating costs including labour, power etc cost around another 4-5 lakhs per month (Can vary depending on local labour rates,) Raw material costs will depend on your procurement strategy. Approximately it should be around 30 lakhs in regularly rolling working capital. Against this the revenue realization from operations can be about 50-55 Lakhs per month depending on what all outputs you can monetize. More or less this is applicable for both e-waste and battery recycling facilities.
  • What is the minimum project size for the ewaste recycling business to be successful?
    Minimum project should be of a 500 kg per day capacity. Currently there is no specific restriction but there is a likelihood that a minimum project size of 5 Tons per day may be made mandatory.
  • What is the minimum land area required?
    There is no “minimum” area. However there is a thumb rule that for every 1 ton of collection per day, you need to have 500 sq meters of covered area for recycling.
  • How can I claim carbon credits against this business?
    There is an elaborate procedure for claiming Carbon Credits or CERs. The project needs to be registered with the UNFCCC as a CDM project. Thereafter, an external entity will evaluate the performance of the project and give a report on the credit points or CERs earned. The CERs earned can be sold to any willing buyer. As of now CERs are quite cheap and the process of monetizing them is quite expensive. So it is recommended only after you reach a certain scale of about 5000 TPA and above provided it is economically viable.
  • What should I do about precious metals?
    Precious metals are difficult to extract. We provide the machinery for the same. However for project sizes smaller than 3000 TPA we do not advise it. Till the time you hit that level of collection consistently, you may either stock the precious metal bearing parts or sell to other authorized recyclers who have the facility to extract the precious metals or align with such a recycler in a "job work" model.
  • Where can the epoxy and plastic granules be used?
    Epoxy and plastic granules have applications in road building, concrete mix, model making, creating different types of sport turfs, etc.
  • What should we do with the CRTs?
    CRTs, after dismantling should be given to a recycler capable of recycling the CRTs. This is a expensive setup and CRT displays are going out of the market. We do not recommend investing in any machinery for that. Having a back end tie up is much better.
  • What about the final waste remaining after the process?
    The final remnants of the recycling process can be given to an authorised land fill. This is usually less than 3-4% of the collection.
  • How do we get finance for the project?
    There are primarily 2 ways of institutional funding – Debt and Equity. Debt is usually the cheapest method of funding and most recommended because you retain complete ownership of your business. You can get debt funding through banks or any other NBFCs. Collateral free government schemes are also available. However, you will need to approach the right people and make a very strong pitch to convince them for a collateral free loan. Alternatively, you can approach institutional or private investors and raise money in return of equity. Generally for a 1000 TPA capacity project, you can ask for something like 1 Cr investment in lieu of 20% equity. (This, in our opinion is very expensive.)
  • Can we get CSR funding?
    Yes you can get CSR funds. However CSR funding may come with many constraints such as using the investors Brand. Also, not every company has environmental cause as a part of their CSR objectives. You may need to find the right company.
  • Does government provide any money?
    Government provides a post investment capital subsidy. There are various schemes by MEITY and SIDBI for this. You will need to check your eligibility. Kindly also note that these are all time bound schemes and they may be withdrawn or new ones may be introduced at any time.
  • Are there tax benefits?
    There is no specific tax benefit for a recycler or dismantler. However, under the startup incentives, you can claim tax benefits as applicable to you.
  • What is the role of PROs?
    PROs are e-waste collection / aggregation agents who help electronics manufacturers (OEMs) and distributors meet their EPR targets. EPR targets are given by the government and it is mandatory to meet them. A PRO takes the responsibility of fulfilling part of an OEM’s EPR target by committing a certain amount of annual collection. The OEM pays the PRO as certain fee against this commitment. In case the targets are not met, there may be severe penalties. The PRO is also required to supply this aggregated e-waste to an authorized recycler. The recycler can negotiate a separate price with the PROs for supply of e-waste.
  • Should we start by becoming a PRO?
    It is not mandatory at all to start by becoming a PRO. As per the new e-waste rules, there is no special license for a PRO. Any one can act as a PRO provided he has contracts with recyclers as well as OEM brands, and warehouses as mandated by the government. However, you need to maintain a large amount of paperwork for proof of work.
  • Should we have both PRO and recycling license?
    It is not mandatory to have both. However many Recyclers have another PRO arm as well.
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