Humanity produces 50 million tonnes of electrical waste annually.

10. 10. 2018

The International eWaste Day shall also help in the fight for recycling. The International Association of Electronic and Electrical Waste Collection Systems the WEEE Forum announced the 13th of October as the International eWaste Day. The initiative was joined by 20 countries, including the Slovak Republic, through ASEKOL SK, the only Slovak member. The main idea of this initiative is to promote the recycling of electrical waste and to educate the general public in this area.

Experts estimate that mankind will produce 50 million tonnes of electrical waste in 2018. Computers, smartphones, tablets or TVs, as well as larger domestic appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, heaters or mobile air conditioners. Every year, only 20 percent of the world’s electrical waste is recycled. Up to 40 million tonnes of WEEE per year will end up in landfills, will be inappropriately disposed of or will be the subject of illicit sales.

However, the lifecycle of each product does not have to end up in a landfill. All the disposed appliances are a potential source of light metals, such as aluminium. Acquiring aluminium by recycling costs only one tenth compared to the cost of extracting the primary raw material. When we only consider Europe, the electronic waste grows by 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, the recycled part account only for 35 percent. This leads to unnecessary losses of valuable and scarce raw materials and thus to environmental, health and social problems,” said Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Almost 80 percent of material can be recovered from almost any electrical appliance. Supporting the circular economy is essential for the future existence of our planet Earth. It is the waste-free production model that is a vision of mankind’s survival over the centuries.

In Slovakia, citizens can hand over any unnecessary and non-functional electrical equipment or used batteries to more than 3,000 collection points of the producer responsibility organisation ASEKOL SK. The most recent way of collecting electrical waste and used batteries in Slovakia is a network of special red and white containers, which are used by residents in six cities and will gradually be added in other towns. Last year, more than 590 tonnes of small electrical waste, mainly from kitchen appliances, came into the recycling process. The most common item people are throwing out is the fast boiling pot.

The Slovak Republic will participate in the celebration of the International eWaste Day by joining the awareness campaign of the producer responsibility organisation ASEKOL SK, which will be held at the Bory Mall in Bratislava on 13.10. from 10:00 to 21:00. In addition to events for the public, ASEKOL SK will also be involved in the initiative through the RecycleGames project, which has long been supporting environmental education for students at 1 225 schools.

Benefits of collection and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment for the environment:

Recycling 1 kg of small electrical waste means

…there will not be an emission of more than 4 kg of CO2 into the air

… there is a saving of 92.6 l of water, which is a consumption of an adult human in a period of 1.5 months

… there is a saving of 24.2 kWh of electricity, which means the quantity that is sufficient for 17 hours of 60W light bulb.

Recycling of 1 laptop means

…there is a saving of 392 l of drinking water, which is the amount that an average adult needs for five showers

More information about the International eWaste Day: