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Serbia’s e-scrap frontrunner looks to grow at home and beyond

Every year, some 125 000 discarded fridges go through the shredder at E-Reciklaza, one of the largest electronics recyclers in the Balkans. Based at Nis in southern Serbia, the company is looking for partners to expand its business and operations, managing director Ninoslav Milenkovic told the International Electronics Recycling Congress (IERC) in Salzburg.

The business started from scratch in 2012 when the country lacked proper regulations for processing electronic scrap. ‘We learned from EU standards such as Cenelec and, step-by-step, introduced them into our company,’ says Milenkovic. ‘By doing so, we automatically inspired others, including the government. Ten years on, I dare to say we’ve raised the bar for e-scrap recycling in Serbia.’

E-Reciklaza has two shredder lines, a big one for fridges and another for smaller devices. The company processed 17 000 tonnes of e-scrap in 2021 and expects to increase volumes up to 20 000 tonnes by the end of this year.

Moreover, the recycler is seeing great opportunities to ramp up capacity. ‘With volumes continuing to grow year-on-year, there is room for a second facility in the north of Serbia, either in the capital Belgrade or Novi Sad towards the Serbian-Hungarian border,’ says Milenkovic.

E-Reciklaza has a network of collection points across Serbia and three warehouses for storage. The company also collects growing volumes of electronic and electrical devices from neighbouring countries including Bosnia and Montenegro.

Milenkovic is looking for partners to join him in setting up new recycling businesses. ‘Not only in Serbia, we’re also interested in other European countries and markets – and even North America.’

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