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Industry Insights :
 Non-Ferrous Metals  Iron & Steel  Ferro Alloys  Minerals & Mining  Precious Metals  Recycling  Commodities


 A Historical Perspective

Recycling in India has not gained much appreciation nor importance as it deserves. Every thing Recyclable in India is Recycled over and over again. This has been happening since centuries even though the World has become aware of the importance of Recycling in helping preserve our Natural resources only since the last few decades.

However Recycling has not gained the respectability nor Small-Scale Industry status, nor proper Government support as they fail to realise that considerable Global Recycling requirements and the Money involved therein and the fact that labour in India is cheaper. India can very easily set up Large Scale Recycling and Reprocessing Industry for not only Metals, Glass, Paper but several other items too such as Precious Metals from Computer PCB's etc which are still areas that need exploring in India.

What is required is for some Overseas Global Players in the Recycling Industry to set up their Yards in India for processing the various Scraps and categorising the same as per International Standards and re-exporting same to world over or for that matter to Indian Consumers as well if certain degree of automated machines can be installed to help speed up the sorting operations. Large Indian Conglomerates should also look at setting up such facilities especially in the Export Promotion Zones where the government today is providing some benefits and consessions in duties etc.

As for the locally generated "Recyclable Scrap" be it glass bottles, Old Newspapers, Paper Cartons, Plastic or various Steel & Metal it is a pity that other world nations dont try to follow similar models of collection and processing this scrap. In India no home throws away their Recyclable Scrap. It is collected at thier door step by a well established Network of "Gypsies" popularly known as "Kabadi Walas" that will not only collect your "Scrap" from your homes but will also pay you a price as per the market conditions, (which co-incidently linked to the International Metal Markets to a certain extent..) These small-scale "businessmen" will take the trouble of sorting out the various types of scrap, be it Newspapers or Metals, Iron, or Glass or even Wood for that matter. Once sorted, they sell their daily collection to a larger "Processor" who again visits his "Pigeon hole" shop daily for picking the day's collection in their Hand-Cart. These "Processors" then transport the stocks collected from various "Kabadi walas" to a small Scrap yard who will inturn segregate the Glass Bottles, Plastic bags as per their colour, and the Metals as per composition i.e. Brass, Zinc, Aluminium, Copper etc as each item has a separate price for same. The degree of expertise of these so called "uneducated" people who very often live on the streets is facinating. Very often they can identify the Metals just by look or by hitting it with a rod and listening to the noise it makes. They are as good as moving Spectrometers and their expertise in identification of various grades of Metals is beyond ones imagination.

Very often the larger Scrap Processors, unlike Overseas Scrap yards who specialise in one or two types of Scrap Processing say Non-Ferrous Metals, Steel, Plastic etc, deal in all the possible scraps we can imagine including used electronic equipment and wooden furniture etc. The Metal Scraps very often goes to Metal merchants locally who sell the segregated Brass, Copper and Zinc scrap to Handicraft Manufacturers who are situated in South & North India and the Aluminium Scrap is often sold to the Secondary Industry. Steel & Iron Scrap is often remelted by small foundries and the Newspapers etc. are again segregated according the grade colour etc and sold to Paper Mills for re-processing. Glass Cold Drink Bottles are often sold back to the Beverage companies themselves for refilling and broken glass goes to the Bottle makers for making new ones. Such is the very well organised Recycling Industry in India which ought to be the model for the World so that undue exploitation of our Naural resources is avoided and we preserve our reserves for longer.

There is also a need to set up an Association of Indian Recyclers preferably with support from International Organisations to help two-way Information Interchange so that technology can be used to process the waste more efficiently as well as to facilitate collaborations with other Overseas companies.