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

Articles By E-waste

E-Waste Management in India

According to the Crimes in India volume of the National Crime Records Bureau for 2021, there are a total of 59,220 cases that have been reported under environmental pollution acts. However, the E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules of 2010 are only preventive in nature. We examine the legal process for managing e-waste and the necessity to make it more stringent.

Community Capital

Seelampur in north-east Delhi is one of the largest e-waste markets in India. Featured in numerous non-governmental organisation reports and journalistic accounts, mainly to highlight the environmental perils of informal e-waste dismantling, the e-waste market’s spatial history and underlying social relations have never been systematically studied. Combining 10 months of ethnographic fieldwork in 2021–22 with a quantitative primary survey of 115 traders in Seelampur, this paper offers new insights on the caste segmentation of commerce in urban India and, specifically, the role of kin networks and “community capital” in consolidating Seelampur’s status as a key node within India’s e-waste economy.

The Afterlife of Things in a Delhi Junkyard

The trajectory of “things” that are declared obsolete is mapped to argue that a junkyard is not merely a repository of the redundant, but also a liminal space between waste and trash, as well as use and reuse. An exploration of a junkyard in the Mayapuri neighbourhood of Delhi reveals how value is extracted from waste, bypassing the imposed norms of planned obsolescence in order to induce life into the lifeless. A complex set of relationships between the imposed rules of obsolescence and actual practices of a junkyard are observed to argue that “waste” is not merely matter out of place or matter without place, but it is essentially matter on the move.