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Zonneveld: Europe’s e-scrap recyclers ‘struggling to survive’

Europe – The e-scrap recycling sector in Europe is facing tough times right now, according to Norbert Zonneveld, general secretary of the European Electronics Recyclers Association (EERA). ‘In 2014, two of our members went bankrupt and more are struggling to survive,’ Zonneveld confirms to Recycling International.

The companies in trouble are mainly ‘small and medium-size enterprises, not the big waste management companies or businesses who are affiliated to metals recycling companies’, Zonneveld explains. Under the current market conditions, he adds, ′you could argue that there is an overcapacity in the European market′.

EERA′s general secretary contends that only one-third of the e-scrap in Europe is properly recycled at present while the other two-thirds is handled by the big car shredders (in the form of, for example, washing machines and refrigerators) or via unofficial ′grey circuit′ processing. ′If we can get our hands on this two-thirds, which guesstimates believe to be around 6 million tonnes, there would not be an oversupply of e-scrap recyclers any more,′ he says.

In its March issue, Recycling International will provide yet more insight into Europe′s troubled e-scrap recycling sector through a full report on the recent International Electronics Recycling Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

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