Small electrical appliances are the ones that produced, back in 2019, the largest amount of waste from the global amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), according to a study conducted by Global E-waste monitor, reaching the figure of 17.4 million tons.

This category includes both small electrical appliances, designed to make work easier in households (toasters, kettles, flat irons), and hygiene and beauty appliances (hair dryers, scales, clocks, electric epilators).

“In general, this type of equipment has short life cycles, and also few repair options. Many of them end up in the garbage once they are replaced with new ones, thus affecting both the environment and people’s health”, says Cristian Pocol, President of the Respo WEEE Association.

Why are they dangerous?

The representatives of the Respo DEEE Association explain the impact that this waste has on the environment and human health.

“Electrical appliances contain plastic, extremely harmful to the environment, but also dangerous substances such as mercury. When appliances containing built-in batteries are thrown away, they may cause fire on contact with water. Globally, in 2019 a record number of electrical and electronic waste was recorded. 53.6 million tons. In the global quantity, the largest share belongs to small equipment, with 17.4 million tons, followed by the large ones, with 13.1 million tons and then, by the heat exchange equipment, with 10.8 million tons”, says Cristian Pocol, president of the Respo DEEE Association

Figures on the rise

The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 Report estimates that electrical and electronic waste (WEEE) will reach 74 million tonnes by 2030, which shows that this type of waste has the fastest growing flow.

Only 17.4% of the electrical and electronic waste (WEEE) in 2019 was collected and recycled

The same studies show that only 17.4% of the electrical and electronic waste (WEEE) in 2019 was collected and recycled. Which means that the gold, silver, copper, platinum and other high-value recoverable materials (assessed at USD 57 billion – an amount larger than the Gross Domestic Product of many countries), were largely thrown away or burned and not collected for treatment and reuse.

Solutions

In Romania, people can hand over the electrical and electronic equipment for recycling by ordering by phone or online, on www.respo.ro, the RESPO box, in which, once received at home or at any other address mentioned, they can put small electrical equipment, and this box would be picked up by specialists and transported to recycling centres.

“The RESPO box is the solution we propose so that small electrical equipment does not reach the landfill. It is made of cardboard and I think we should all have it in the house to collect the waste. Once it is filled, we can take the box to the partner stores that collect it, we can take it out when the garbage truck comes or we can call the green line to find out which is the nearest point. We would also like to announce that we plan to launch a new map on the association’s website, www.respor.ro, where you can see exactly where the collection points of our partners are”, says Cristian Pocol, president of the Respo WEEE Association.

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