Why to collect e-waste?
E-waste stands for 5-6% of the total amount of waste produced by a community. As domestic garbage is not stored in the house the same goes for the obsolete electrical equipment.It should not be thrown at hazard, but securely collected and recycled.There are at least three reasons: to protect the environment, to avoid the risk it poses to human health, as well as to save scarce natural resources.
First of all, this type of equipment can contain hazardous materials, such as heavy metals or toxic gases, which if released in the air, water or soil can have long term damaging effects on the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.
Furthermore, most of these items are made up of materials that can be recovered and returned to industry as secondary raw materials to prevent the irrational exploitation of raw materials with the help of state of the art recycling technology.
Thus, what results from the waste we collect does not pose risks anymore, if recycled correctly, and this means that every one of us responsibly contributes to returning to the economic process the resources it needs to make progress, without a negative impact on the scarce raw materials whose extraction itself generates environmental security risks.
Also, the European environmental norms taken over by national legislation require us to collect more than 40% of the quantities of electrical and electronic appliances sold in 2016 and 45% in the period 2017-2020, so that from 2021 onwards to increase to 65%. We, the Romanians, have to prove that we can collect more than 1 kg per capita (the maximum since the beginning of the application of the legislation on WEEE management in Romania) compared to the collection target imposed in the past by 4 kg / inhabitant. Otherwise, we risk paying fines up to EUR 124,000 per day of non-compliance (in line with the EU infringement procedure). In other words, this gap will cost each of us, because the penalties are paid by the Romanian state, from the public budget, i.e. from the citizens' pocket.
What to collect?
Every electrical and electronic item, portable and industrial (non-automotive) batteries, lighting equipment or fluorescent lamps – all these represent WEEE and need to be recycled. Briefly, we collect most products that have a plug or need a battery.
How to collect e-waste?
Green Line 0800 444 800 (free call from all telephone networks) is a service provided by the RoRec Association, in support of the local partner operators. Citizens can call Green Line 0800 444 800 to learn more about the importance of collecting and recycling electrical waste or to find out how to dispose of electrical waste properly.
What happens with e-waste after collection?
After take-back from consumers, these items are loaded and safely transported towards treatment and recycling operators.
The treatment process includes several physical activities (disassembly/shredding, extraction of hazardous substances), and the resulting fractions (cables, engines, printed circuit boards) and materials (glass, plastic, metal, etc.) undergo further processes such as supplementary treatment, recovery, recycling and/or safe disposal.
Finally, after removal and safe disposal of dangerous substances, through technological processes, secondary raw materials are obtained and sent to industry to be re-used (e.g. goods production).