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Wecycle: first drop in Dutch e-scrap collection

The Netherlands – The Dutch recycling service Wecycle collected a reduced volume of 121 million kg of e-scrap last year. ‘The volume averaged 128 million kg in 2011. This means that, for the first time since starting our collection efforts, fewer products were collected for recycling,’ the organisation said.

The collection data covers discarded electronics and electrics as well as energy-saving light bulbs. Specialist third-party recyclers collected an additional 18 million kg of e-waste, Wecycle added.

Especially notable was a fall in the amount of IT appliances collected, with a 15% decrease to 15.5 million kg in 2012. ′The collection of all other devices dropped 4% to 102.3 million kg,′ stated Wecycle. ′Meanwhile, the volume of energy-saving lighting totalled 3.4 million kg. And, although collection of fluorescent tubes and energy-saving light bulbs fell slightly, this was compensated by a 2% increase in collection of fixtures.′

Giving various reasons for the diminished totals, Wecycle said ′disappointing electronics sales′ in 2012 were the main factor. ′Lower sales lead to less discarded devices – not only limited to heavy equipment, like washing machines, refrigerators, and dish washers, but also television sets, stereo installations and computers.′

The recycling service said that more than 7kg of e-waste was still collected per inhabitant last year – well above the government′s annual objective of 4kg. Taking the performance of third parties into account, Wecycle said the collection total per individual would be comfortably double the stated target.

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