Local scrap yards dealing with metal waste may soon see uniform standards with the Ministry of Mines proposing a single National Non-Ferrous Metal Scrap Recycling Framework for all states in the country.
The framework for non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, copper, zinc, lead, among others seeks to promote a formal recycling ecosystem comprising energy efficient processes leading to lower carbon footprints.
It aims to reduce the burden of metal waste on landfills and reduce pollution by promoting an environmentally sound processing and recycling system.
It also aims at economic wealth creation due to the employment generation potential of scientific recycling.
According to the Ministry, about three 3 million direct jobs can be created in recycling facilities and conservatively “between 10 to 15 million indirect jobs in upstream related activities.”
The framework document says that, one of the key challenges of the non-ferrous metals industry is the huge demand for metal scrap that is met by imports.
A significant quantity of metal scrap demand from user industries is met by imports owing to underdeveloped metal scrap collection.
Metal recycling rates in India is well below global standards and mostly carried out by the informal sector. While the global standard for aluminum recycling is 98.5 per cent in India it is only 30 per cent. Similarly, the international recycling rate for copper is 82 per cent, while it is only 20 per cent in
Aluminium is an energy intensive industry for which the demand is increasing from user industries. The demand for fuel, viz coal is the main energy source for aluminum extraction and processing.
“Such dependence on non-renewable fuel is not in line with global sustainable development goals and will lead to high carbon footprints. Also, meeting the growing demand by imports would lead to a trade imbalance. Thus, recycling becomes a good alternative as it requires 95 per cent less energy to recycle aluminum than to produce primary aluminum,” states the document.
It suggests setting up of a central authority for recycling of metals which may be called as Metal Recycling Authority.