International association of collective systems for the collection and recycling of electronic and electrical waste the WEEE Forum announced on 13 October the International Day of Electrical Waste. 20 countries, including the Czech Republic, joined the challenge. The main idea is to promote recycling and awareness among the general public.
Experts estimate that mankind will produce 50 million tonnes of e-waste in 2018. Computers, smartphones, tablets or TVs, as well as larger household appliances such as washing machines, fridges, heaters or mobile air conditioning units; annually, only 20 percent of the world’s number of retired appliances can be recycled. Up to 40 million tonnes of electrical equipment will end up in landfills, burnt or become the subject of illegal trading. The lifecycle of each product does not have to end only by satisfying its original purpose. Even a disused appliance is a potential source of secondary raw materials. These include, for example, light metals, especially aluminum. Obtaining aluminum by recycling will require only one-tenth of the cost compared to those to be spent on the extraction of primary raw material. Electrical waste in Europe only grows at a rate of three to five percent per year. “Unfortunately, even in the European Union, which is the world leader in the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment, only 35 percent can be recycled. This leads to unnecessary losses of valuable and scarce raw materials and hence to environmental, health and social problems, “said Karmena Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Up to 80 percent of the material can be recycled from the appliance. Supporting the circular or circulating economy is inevitable for the future existence of the planet Earth. It is precisely a waste-free production model that is one of the basic prerequisites for sustainable development. In the Czech Republic, residents have the opportunity to surrender unnecessary and malfunctioning electrical equipment or old batteries to thousands of collection points. By law, they must be established in all municipalities or urban areas with more than 2,000 inhabitants. The Czech Republic joined the Recycling Game project, which has long been supporting environmental education in schools. “This year’s school year has already begun the eleventh year of the project. Nearly 3700 schools from all regions participated, “says Hana Ansorgová, director of Recycling Games.
More information about E-waste day on www.weee-forum.org