Recycling activities at Ecoreco commences with the receipt of e-waste material from various clients' locations. The material is initially weighed, and is separated product-wise (monitors, CPUs, printers, keyboards, etc.) for easy retrieval. The material is then checked by qualified technicians to ascertain whether the equipments are working or non-working. If the equipment is in working/ near-working condition, then the technicians attempt to repair/ upgrade the equipments to ensure that they become re-marketable and can be resold. If the equipments are not in working condition, attempts are being made to salvage components. Accordingly, the technicians dismantle the equipment into components and try to retrieve any working parts thereof.
The residual components are then passed on for shredding into the twin-shaft shredder. The shredder, which is capable of accepting feed of around 1,500 kgs per hour, helps to “open up” sealed components, separating metals from plastic. The shredder accepts manually dismantled components through a hopper at one end, passes the feed through the shredding chamber where two counter rotating hexagonal shafts fitted with circular blades shred the components, and the shredded items are dropped onto a moving conveyor belt.
An inbuilt overhead magnetic band ensures automatic separation of ferrous component from the feed, whereas employees, wearing appropriate safety equipment such as gloves and helmets, stand by to physically separate other metals such as aluminium and copper from the moving conveyor belt. All plastic components are deposited at the end of the conveyor belt. These metals (aluminium, steel, copper) and plastics which are of high purity in nature are then usually sold to smelters.
Certain components of the computer such as printed circuit boards (PCBs) contain precious metals such as gold, silver, etc. These PCBs are not sent for shredding and are instead accumulated and would be used for precious metal extraction. That portion of e-waste which contains hazardous elements and cannot be recycled is sent to authorised hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities for final disposal as per the norms of the Pollution Board.