Attero Recycling is an end-to-end e-waste management solutions company and is one of the few such recyclers globally. The company has to date saved more than 1,00,000 metric tonnes of carbon and is focused on producing sustainable materials such as cobalt, tin, nickel, copper, silver and gold completing the circular economy value chain. Nitin Gupta, CEO & co-founder, Attero Recycling shares with Telangana Today the current e-waste management scenario and what the company intends to do in near future. Excerpts-
Under a new initiative, Attero plans to set up six plants to process e-waste and lithium-ion batteries by the end of this year. It will utilise its expertise in setting up low cost modular recycling and refining plants. Our programme will be instrumental in making India self-reliant in crucial materials such as gold, copper, lithium, cobalt, etc, which will be extracted through sustainable means through these plants. The company can extract almost 99 per cent of all metals from lithium-ion batteries.
Capacity ramp up
Attero targets to enhance its capacity by over 30,000 metric tonnes annually, by ramping up the recycling capacity across six States of India in the first phase. These plants will be strategically located in Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. All these States have a right policy framework for e-waste besides vibrant IT and ITeS industry. By the end of 2022, Attero plans to have a plant in every State in the country and has set a target of having 14 plants via the franchisee route and enhance its e-waste management capacity by over 1,56,000 metric tonnes annually. We are growing at a rate of 150 per cent annually and have set tactical and strategic goals for the near-term.
India generates over 1.5 million metric tonnes of e-waste each year (growing at about 30 per cent every year) and a major concern in India is the recycling of e-waste in informal units by unscientific, unhealthy and non-environmentally friendly methods. Attero, with its NASA recognised technology is committed to provide efficient, economical and easy-to-implement solutions. This transfer of technology for dismantling recycling to micro-entrepreneurs and formalising the informal sector will be instrumental in driving a huge social impact. The company is also the only company in the world in the electronic waste recycling space to receive carbon credits per tonne of e-waste recycled, approved by the United Nations.
E-Waste is hazardous to health as well as to the environment. We have a world-class R&D Lab with over 30 awarded global patents (nine for electronic waste and over 20 for lithium ion waste management) and innovative solutions. Channelising these technologies to micro-entrepreneurs at regional locations will not only encourage them but will also accelerate the country’s transition from a linear economy to a circular one.
Partnership with OEMs
We have collaborations with all the major electronic OEMs in the world. We are also making efforts to sensitise consumers on data sanitisation before disposing of devices as well as the impact on the environment. Incentives to end-users are very critical in ensuring compliance. While the government can create awareness, industry has a larger role in terms of incentivisation. We will be signing up with more OEMs even in future. Attero is working out a financial incentive model with the support of OEMs/industry.
If we look at the lithium-ion battery, it has the highest energy density, fastest charging time and slowest discharge time. More than $100 billion has been invested in lithium-ion batteries globally. Batteries are hazardous in nature and can cause soil and water pollution as well as prone to catch fire. Almost 30 per cent of lithium-ion batteries use materials such as cobalt and lithium, which have social and environmental challenges due to the mining. Attero is recycling 30 gm of batteries coming from phones up to 750 kg coming from electric buses and everything in between.
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