ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Informal Recyclers, Development Experts and E-Waste Reforms in Bangalore

Revitalising Economies of Disassembly

In the last decade, reforms introduced by the Indo-German-Swiss e-Waste Initiative were meant to modernise and revitalise Bangalore's informal e-waste recycling sector. While the reforms rapidly transformed the circuits of e-waste recycling in the city, the outcomes have been less than ideal for informal recyclers. This article charts the changing role of informal e-waste recyclers in the wake of the introduction of reforms and shows how reforms disconnected a majority of informal recyclers - who have historically underwritten the costs of disposing the city's e-waste - from newly modernised circuits of e-waste recycling. In sum, it reveals that the reforms provided an impetus to "corporate privatisation" and undermined the extant network of "informal privatisation" of e-waste in Bangalore.

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