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Govt to appoint metal recycling regulator by June

Suresh P Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2021

Authority to set norms for registration of recycling units, evaluation and ranking

The government plans to set up a Metal Recycling Authority by June to promote organised recycling of key non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, copper, zinc and lead.

The authority will oversee the formulation of quality standards, certification and process standards for recycling by December.

The Ministry of Mines has issued the National Non-Ferrous Metal Scrap Recycling Framework with a focus on regulating scrap collection, segregation and dismantling units with a proper framework for registration, data collection and reporting mechanism.

It will also set norms for registration of the recycling units, ranking and performance evaluation of these units, and develop metal recycling zones and urban mining facilities.

The structured plan issued by the Ministry defines the roles and responsibilities with clear timelines for various stakeholders including the government, the recycling authority, the public, the manufacturers, and dismantling and processing centres to achieve the goal of making the recycling industry organised in three years.

The framework comes in the backdrop of the upcoming Vehicle Scrappage Policy for automobiles, which will ensure sufficient availability of domestic scrap in the country.

The framework recommends establishing a Bureau of Indian Standards for scrap used for recycling and recycled products and fpr formulating standard procedures for recycling and processing of scrap in consonance with MoEFCC rules/guidelines for environmental protection.

‘Target value-added products’

Welcoming the government decision, Dhawal Shah, Vice President, Material Recycling Association of India, said the BIS standard should be announced for value-added products produced from the recycled material than for the scrap being imported.

All the scrap exporters to India follow the globally accepted standards of the International Scrap Recycling Institute, and framing a new standard for India will disrupt the supply chain at a time when there is a mad scramble for scrap globally, he added.

The scrap imported into India is already processed and about 80-85 per cent of it comes from the US and Europe. Most of the recycled metal is used for making auto component parts, and primary metal cannot be used to produce automobile parts, he said.

The sharp increase in scrap import is largely due to the rising demand from the car companies where the production has gone up to 3.5 million from 1.8 million in the last five years, said Shah.

If the government puts unrealistic restrictions on imports, he said recyclers will start importing value-added products, leading to huge job loses.

Published on March 11, 2021

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