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”How can we enjoy technological progress without harming the environment?” – RoRec Association @Urban Talks

Posted on: Aug 9, 2018 by Alexandra Scutaru

Technology is the main engine of evolution in modern society. Everything becomes “smart”, from phones, to watches, to home appliances, smart devices appear each day, that integrate the complex functions of the devices around us, making them more and more applied to the needs of modern man. This is the obvious reason for the increase in the number of electrical appliances predicted for the future. These are the premises of a “smart future” with “smart cities”, where technology is working for the welfare of society. And we support and enjoy it! But all of these modern devices and gadgets have a limited lifetime. Their number increases directly proportional to the evolution of technology. And the next question arise: what will we do with all these electrical appliances when they go out of use? How can we enjoy technological innovation without harming the environment?

This issue was addressed at the Urban Talks event, which brought together experts, ideas, solutions and projects on integrated, smart and sustainable urban development at Cluj Innovation Days, May 2018. Below you can follow the RoRec Association approach, through its communication manager, Andreea Calev Idriceanu, under the concept of  “Green Citizens for Smart Cities – People Before Tech“.

[BIZ Magazine] Recycling Champions

Posted on: Jul 16, 2018 by Alexandra Scutaru

For ten years, RoRec has not only been recycling electrical and electronic appliances, but also innovating to change mentalities and increase recycled quantities. Andreea Idriceanu, Communication Manager at RoRec, explains the impact of such an innovative project – the Recycling Patrol.

By Alexandru Ardelean

 

How does the Recycling Patrol work?

The Recycling Patrol Communication Team: Alexandra Arnăutu, Andreea Idriceanu, Ada Lungu and Gabriela Tranciuc

We must educate a responsible generation and create permanent hubs to promote the custom of e-waste separate collection in as many communities in Romania as possible. We need to increase the visibility of this issue, to talk about the proper collection of e-waste and to understand why it is important to do this. Through the Recycling Patrol we succeeded in creating a community that undertook the task of forming a generation of responsible young people, concerned about the environment, involved in the community and confident in their own power of bringing beneficial changes to society. At the beginning of the school year, in kindergartens, schools and high-schools registered in the program Recycling Patrols are formed, i.e. teams of about 20 students, guided by a coordinating teacher. Annually, more than 750 kindergartens, schools and high-schools in the country locally initiate creative and informative activities to mobilize communities to responsibly collect e- waste (WEEE) to reduce pollution and comply with European standards. The school thus strengthens its position as the “soul of the community”. Children and young people in the Recycling Patrol become the ambassadors of this ecological message in their communities and help the grown-ups understand the pollution potential of WEEE and that it depends on each of us to mitigate this risk.

What is the impact of this project?

The communities in which the Recycling Patrols “operate” adopt a more responsible behavior against the environment. “Supporter” companies and institutions reduce the amount of hazardous waste they have and fulfill their legal obligations in waste management. The Recycling Patrol is a program that any company or institution can support, at no cost, as a CSR program. So far, more than 2,000 organizations have become supporters of the program, precisely because it is simple and convenient to implement in a team, it helps employees get rid of e-waste that is tangling through their homes and offices. And for businesses it is an efficient way to meet the legal obligations for waste management with no stress. The Recycling Patrol is a national environmental education program run in kindergartens, schools and high schools in Romania, which gave rise to the most active youth ecological movement. In the 7 years since its launch, the Patrol Recycling project has contributed to collecting over 2,700,000 kg of WEEE in Romania. If today people in hundreds of cities, communes, and villages separately collect e-waste, it is also thanks to the Recycling Patrol.

How important is it to reach collection targets?

The European legislation transposed at the national level imposes us to collect more than 45% of the average of electrical and electronic equipment sold in the last three years. In the period 2017-2020 the collection target is 45%, and from 2021 the target will be 65% of the quantities of electrical equipment placed on the market. If we do not reach these targets, we risk paying fines up to 124,000 euros per day of non-compliance, which will be paid out from each of us.

How do you manage to do this?

We have a proactive, professional approach and in compliance with the legislation in the field. Our goal is to change mentalities in the field of environmental protection and to transform an obsolete way to use and treat outdated equipment in a sustainability model for the future. We work with people, companies, partners and institutions that share the same values as we do and that are aware we are living in a world of change and multiple challenges that forces us to keep up with times.

We created the local collection service, a network of partner operators, with teams in each county working at European standards, which ensure free take-up from home or headquarters. In partnership with city halls, we have developed a unique network of WEEE collection centers with national coverage where citizens can discard their electrical and electronic waste. All the information is on the association’s website.

A national team of over 100,000 agents and 3,500 teachers has been formed and they informed more than 4,500,000 people about WEEE collection.

What is the balance sheet after more than 10 years of RoRec activity?

It is always difficult to sum up such a long period, especially since it was a period of start-up, construction, work-structure formation, design and development of projects and processes. I would, however, try to frame our the first 10 years in 10 phrases: responsibility, which is the legal and moral core of our mission; focus on practical and efficient implementation; focus on performance, based on success indicators for any initiative; cost control and efficiency of budgeting; building the team, that “handful” of people with whom we started to cover the whole country; the national dimension that is indispensable for achieving the collection targets; European vocation, connecting to successful models of European leaders in the field; alignment with European legislation, clear direction that ensures the outcome, despite the confusion and obstacles of Romanian transposition; direct communication with the population, permanent search for tools that mobilize communities, but also collaboration with the local authority, which can become a partner of great potential in working with communities.

What are the plans for the next years?

In the European Union’s governance priorities, up to the horizon of 2030, waste recycling and recovery is gaining momentum, eloquently reflected in the very context of the European circular economy. What we do, together with our partners, members of the association and the network of operators, is more and more necessary, more important. For us, success is not a luxury, but the only way ahead. We have to fulfill our assumed mission in front of the industry. What do we have to do to in the coming years to meet our goals? We will continue what we started. The solutions are here. We know them. We have tested them for the last 10 years. We only need to implement them professionally, referring to the European framework, to models of experienced collective systems and to successful practices so as to contribute to the European evolution and the sustainable development of our society.

RoRec successes:

○ A network of 31 collection centers at European standards in 28 counties;

2,500 collection points, in partnership with retailers;

Over 10,000 unique communication campaigns in communities, schools, institutions and businesses;

○ Thousands of information and collection actions, where more than 110,000 tonnes of e-waste were collected;

Implementation of an information system for WEEE traceability, from receipt, transport and then handing over to recycling facilities, which ensures real-time recording, monitoring and reporting of collected and recycled quantities;

○ Recycling of more than 95,000 tonnes of collected e-waste.

 

 

Green Citizens for Smart Cities – people before tech

Posted on: Jun 25, 2018 by Alexandra Scutaru

We all dream of living in Smart Cities – communities where technology improves our life with innovative and effective solutions. What if technology entails hundreds of new, short-lived electrical devices, would that mean that a “smart city” would be overwhelmed by e-waste? No, of course. On the contrary, smart communities primarily rely on sustainability, and recycling is an essential part of sustainability.

“Green Citizens for Smart Cities” was RoRec Association’s perspective at Urban Talks – an event that brought together experts, ideas, solutions and projects on integrated, smart and sustainable urban development at Cluj Innovation Days, Romania, May 2018.

In the context of discussions about the role of technology, Andreea Idriceanu Calev, communication manager at RoRec Association, spoke about the magnitude of a problem faced by humankind: the huge amount of e-waste that suffocates the planet as we become more and more dependent on gadgets and various devices. “By 2030, 2/3 of the world’s population will live in the urban area – i.e. about 5 billion people. Also, in just a few years, there will be more mobile phone owners than people with access to electricity. This means billions of electrical and electronic appliances thrown each year. Already in 2018, people will generate over 5 million tonnes of e-waste,” said Andreea Idriceanu.

Smart cities are characterized by the balance between people and environment, with the help of technology and innovation. At the core of the system, both the “resource” and the “main source” remain … people.

“There is no “Smart City” without “Green Citizens”. Cities of the future aim to work better on all levels, ensuring their economic prosperity while reducing the negative impact on the environment. For this, each of their constituents – citizens, authorities, businesses and civil society – has to act responsibly every day. No matter how innovative a city technology is, it can never compensate for the cumulative harmful effects of millions of gestures.”

In an exclusive interview for the Recycling Patrol, Grațian Mihăilescu, the founder of UrbanizeHub and one of the most well-known urban innovation specialists in Romania, points out that “Cities are in the hands of citizens, but they still do not realize it. With the evolution of technology, this influence of the citizen in the decision-making process will increase. These are the needs of communities – these solutions must be implemented to make life easier for citizens and not for the sake of selling new products or technologies to the administration. That’s why it is important, when this transition is made, for citizens to be prepared to get involved. ”

Graţian Mihăilescu supported the Recycling Patrol mission with his own message: “In order for our cities to be modern and clean, we need to be more involved first. Let’s take care of the city we live in as if it were our living room. It is the place where we are going to work, in which we grow up, in which we fall in love, where we raise our kids and we should treat it with respect and responsibility and do our best to contribute to its development. We have a bad mentality always blaming the authorities. But ask yourself: When was the last time that I did something for the city I live in? ”

At Urban Talks, the Recycling Patrol, the environmental education program that RoRec has been developing for 8 years in Romania, has won the enthusiasm and appreciation of an audience of innovators, leaders, decision makers and companies who share the values ​​of a better world, creators of projects that shape the future of Romanian cities.

At the end of its 7th edition, the program redefined environmental education in Romania, surpassing any expectations and breaking record after record. In 2018, the Recycling Patrol reached more than 110,000 volunteers, 3,000,000 kg of e-waste collected due to their efforts and over 5,000,000 people informed about the importance of collecting e-waste.

Through this program, RoRec Association has generated a movement of awareness and permanent mobilization in hundreds of urban and rural communities across the country, with a major impact on the increase of e-waste collection and recycling rates.

United Business Center Iasi supports the WEEE separate collection

Posted on: Feb 14, 2018 by Alexandra Scutaru

United Business Center supports environmental protection and encourages partners to be responsible for the environment.

On the ground floor of the buildings there are special containers for collecting bulbs, batteries and small waste electrical and electronic equipment. The United Business Center provides these containers with the help of the Local Collection Service in Iasi, supported by the RoRec Association, APM Iasi and the Environmental Guard Iasi. SLC Iaşi ensures the WEEE collection and the safe transportation to accredited recyclers according to European standards.

Employees of UBC companies in Iasi are invited to collect waste in the three types of containers, which the Iasi Local Collection Service will empty regularly.

For heavy or large appliances, interested parties can order a free pick up from home via a call to the Green Line (TelVerde) 0800 444 800 (toll-free number from any fixed or mobile network available daily from 09.00 – 17.00).

“Do you want a clean city? Do not abandon waste in public space!”

Posted on: Feb 6, 2018 by Alexandra Scutaru

The Romanian Association for Recycling – RoRec has joined a project to inform and educate the citizens of Craiova about the importance of separate waste collection. More specifically, SC Salubritate Craiova SRL, together with the Autonomous Administration of Public Domain and Housing Fund (RAADPFL) Craiova, the RoRec Association, Craiova City Hall and Junior Chamber International (JCI) Craiova, run between 22 January 2018 and 15 May 2018 , the project “Do you want a clean city? Do not abandon waste in public space! “.

Nearly 4 months, 80 volunteers and an informative brochure are the coordinates of the project aimed at raising the awareness of the importance of separate collection among the inhabitants of Craiova. The campaign brochure contains information on the correct way of waste pre-collection, but also rules on social cohabitation and the penalties for breaching them. Page 7 of the brochure is dedicated to waste electrical and electronic equipment.

The brochure will be distributed by volunteers in Electroputere Park, Mercur Center, Associations of Owners, other parks, public gardens and the historic center in Craiova.

Civil servants and volunteers – ANFP and Recycling Patrol, for a culture of performance in environmental education

Posted on: Nov 9, 2017 by Alexandra Scutaru

For many years, the National Agency of Civil Servants has brought together civil servants from all over the country and young volunteers from the Recycling Patrol in a solidarity effort that encourages separate collection of electrical waste and the responsible behavior towards the environment.

ANFP sends its members every year calls to help its Recycling Patrol and invites Patrol’s representatives to the international conference “Innovation and Quality in the Public Sector” – a partnership outlined by Mrs. Circiumaru as follows: “By our events, we succeeded in creating bridges between the administration and civil society, contributing to the education, training and involvement of civil servants in current issues of ecology. We reward examples of best practice in environmental protection at each conference edition. Collaboration with the RoRec Association and Recycling Patrol is part of our constant approach to engaging the whole of society in this process.

For the Recycling Patrol’s volunteers, each gesture of support and trust gives them the courage to do even more, and better. As the program supporter, ANFP gives credibility to their message. The patrol is made up of children, but their mission is serious, worthy of the attention of all adults and even more of the leaders.

Leaders and officials in the administration are not just the professionals responsible for implementing environmental policies. They are also citizens, parents. With each personal and institutional example that helps children to inform, communicate, mobilize, their communities become success stories in the program. Learn how you can be a Recycling Patrol Supporter at www.patruladereciclare.ro

RoRec Association recycles for 10 (years)

Posted on: Nov 8, 2017 by Alexandra Scutaru

3The Romanian Recycling Association RoRec celebrated this November 10 years of WEEE recycling in Romania, 10 years full of challenges, but most importantly, of achievements.

The event organized under the claim “Together for a European future!” focused on future prospects, capitalizing on the achievements of the first 10 years of activity. As main contributors to RoRec Association’s success, the producer members were invited to discuss environment and CSR topics. They were being briefly introduced to communication campaigns, the infrastructure and tailored tools development, and special projects, such as the take-back system, which were developed and refined over the last 10 years. All these can secure the operational capacity critically needed to2 achieve the collection targets imposed by the legislation.

10 years ago, the Romanian Association for Recycling RoRec was born to take over the responsibility for the management of electrical waste from the founding producers. At that time it was like a newly discovered territory. We had the task of collecting a substantial amount of electrical waste, in a very short while, to recover the gap to European standards. Our aim was to prove that YES, IT IS POSSIBLE. And we proved it. For us, success is not a choice, but the only way. We have to fulfill our assumed mission to the industry. Past choices have created functional solutions that have helped us get 1where we are today. The principle remains valid. The future is the result of the decisions we have already taken. – Liviu Popeneciu President  Director General RoRec Association.

On the same occasion, the community of operating partners was invited to the yearly convention. Programs, instruments, IT platforms, and other facts and figures were discussed, in preparation of the new plans and commitments for the next very difficult year 2018.

The 10 year review offered the opportunity not only to point out the successes of the past, but most importantly to see that the projects and tools in place can be successfully used to reach the targets in the future.

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RoRec Association at the CitiZEN Conference @ Galati

Posted on: Oct 23, 2017 by Alexandra Scutaru

On October 21, 2017, the Romanian Association for Recycling RoRec participated at the CitiZEN Conference in Galati, that focused on community awareness towards the environment. Carried out in a non-formal setting, the conference enjoyed an audience of young people aged 16-25, eager to learn how to become better citizens by recycling and find out more about their responsibilities and rights. RoRec has provided information on the collection of WEEE, legislative issues, Romania’s collection targets, our obligation to collect separately and how easy we can do this through the Local Collection Service Galati.

The Recycling Patrol wins new Supporters, with Romanian Scouts

Posted on: Aug 23, 2017 by Alexandra Scutaru

The Recycling Patrol and the Romanian Scouts met for the first time at RoJam 2017.

At the invitation of the Scouts, the Recycling Patrol was one of the partners of the international meeting organized in Cristian, Brasov County, and proposed to the participants two ecological games, WEEEScape Room and the E-Waste Quiz.

The two games challenged the scouts’ creativity, teamwork and communication, and helped them improve their knowledge about the impact of our activities on the environment and the need to become more responsible.

The Scouts have promoted, for generations, alternative education and the development of skills and abilities relevant to the challenges young people have to face in modern day life.

The Recycling Patrol has opened a new road to environmental education in Romania. Thanks to this program, hundreds of kindergartens, schools and high schools have become nuclei of responsible behavior for their communities, and thousands of teachers form pre-school and pupils in the spirit of the European values ​​we aspire to.

For the first time this year, the Recycling Patrol was invited within the Sustainable Development Village to provide participants with a modern perspective on environmentally and socially sound habits – proper collection of electrical waste, promoting recycling, community involvement, interest for knowledge.

The Recycling Patrol has therefore found new Supporters among the Romanian Scouts. Only two weeks before the end of the 2016-2017 edition, e-waste collected by citizens, businesses, and institutions from anywhere in the country to the benefit of the program is becoming more and more important. Anyone who gets rid of electrical waste free of charge with the local collection service until 31 August 2017 helps his local team win one of the national awards.

Children break the “wall of indifference”

Posted on: Jun 13, 2017 by Alexandra Scutaru

On Saturday, June 10, the Romanian Recycling Association RoRec participated as a partner at the European Conference “Together We Break the Wall of Indifference”. The event marked the end of the Erasmus + UUD project – “A World without Plastic “, coordinated by the Seniors Citizens Initiative Association, with the support of Braila City Hall.

The conference was an opportunity to draw people’s attention to the dangers of random plastic throwing. In the margins of the conference, the young people in Braila organized an art exhibition, plastic display stands, ecological prize competitions, separate collection exercises.

The RoRec Association was present with a stand and information materials to the population on the importance of separate waste collection, encouraging participants and passers-by to place bulbs, batteries and small WEEE in containers.

The event ended with a symbolic gesture of breaking the “wall of indifference,” represented by a wall built of plastic pets.

The young people in Braila have shown that eco-civism can be practiced at any age, and the change for the better can begin with each of us at any moment.