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E-cycling in Europe: no room for ‘cowboy management’

Ireland – Ireland is ‘leading the charge’ within Europe in the field of quality electrical and electronic equipment recycling as one of only three countries with mandatory WEEE recycling standards in place since 2014, according to e-scrap compliance scheme WEEE Ireland.

The organisation applauds the recent position paper from the e-cycling industry calling on the European Commission to make compliance standards legally binding across the continent. ‘Currently, more than half of all waste electronics generated in the EU are not treated in accordance with requirements of the WEEE Directive, which results in a lower quality of WEEE within Europe,’ says WEEE Ireland.

The organisation’s ceo Leo Donovan contends: ‘The significance of recycling standards has never been more important against the backdrop of the proposed Circular Economy package currently being debated across the EU. There is no room for cowboy management of WEEE as we move from a linear waste disposal era toward a more circular resource-efficient future. If we want to become more resource efficient and sustainable from both an environmental and financial perspective, we must have authorised recycling and recovery facilities all operating to high quality standards.’

The WEEE Forum and its affiliated schemes were ‘instrumental’, he adds, in developing the WEEELABEX standard – which the organisation has embraced and which is viewed as the precursor to the EN WEEE Standard. Ireland’s waste landscape has ‘changed completely’ in the 10 years that WEEE Ireland has been in existence, according to Donovan. ‘We are among the leaders in Europe in collection and recycling environmental target achievements.’

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