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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 21:21 EDT

Higher European Union E-Waste Collection Objective Is Unfeasible

March 15, 2012

The forthcoming EU collection objective for discarded electrical equipment and energy saving lamps (e-waste) is only achievable if governments are prepared to introduce additional measures.

By 2021, all EU countries will need to collect 65 percent of the average weight of equipment and lamps which was sold annually the three previous years.

However, part of the e-waste is outside of the producers’ reach, as this concerns legal or illegal exports, or because it has disappeared into the waste bin.

This conclusion was reached during an international e-waste conference in Amsterdam 15 March (detailed below).

The United Nations University presented the results from a scientific research project which maps out in unprecedented detail the origins and destinations of e-waste flows in the Netherlands.

A unique model was developed from this research, which predicts how much e-waste is going to be released in a particular country.

Other European countries will also be able to use this model to assess the feasibility of the EU collection objective for their country.

Examples of possible additional government measures in the Netherlands to collect more e-waste are:

    a registration obligation for collectors and recyclers, who are also obliged to report into the government with details of what they are doing with their e-waste;
    the ‘old for new’ principle in shops, ensuring it’s easy and free for consumers to hand in small electrical devices and energy-saving lamps;
    a delivery obligation for councils and shops;
    obliging exporters of second hand electrical consumer goods for reuse in developing countries to have a declaration stating that each of the devices is still in good working order.

The complete research report can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/x1v7rL

Conference program
Thursday March 15, 2012

Schiphol Airport
10.00 Presentation Eelco Smit (Philips Consumer Lifestyle)
10.25 Presentation Jaco Huisman (United Nations University)
11.25 Presentation Ellen Brinksma (Statistics Netherlands)
11.45 Q&A with Jaco Huisman (UNU), Marijn van der Maesen (FFact), René Eijsbouts (Witteveen+Bos)

12.15 Lunch

13.45 Presentation Stephane Arditi (European Environmental Bureau)
14.15 Presentation Jason Linnell (National Center for Electronics Recycling United States of America)
14.45 Presentation Hiroyuki Furukawa (ENE EcologyNet Japan)
15.15 Presentation Etienne Hendriks (Kyocera Mita the Netherlands)
15.45 Handing over the report to all speakers
16.00 Informal reception
17.00 End of program

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