Under a new E.U. rule put into place by the European Parliament, electrical stores throughout Europe will soon be forced into accepting your old electrical equipment for recycling. That means you can finally offload all of those unwanted games consoles and mobile phones that are piled up in your garage, safe in the knowledge that they’ll be disposed of safely.
The new rule is part of a revision to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) that will take place over the next seven years. It will apply to stores of over 400 square meters in size, which will be forced to recycle small items like mobile phones and portable consoles for recycling — regardless of whether you’re purchasing a new item while you’re there.
The E.U. is hoping to have 85 percent of electronic waste collected and treated appropriately by 2020. Part of its plans will also be to target the illegal exporting of electronic waste that is sent to developing countries for disposal. Michalis Tremopoulos of the European Parliament believes it is “long overdue that we stop making developing countries the dumping ground for our hazardous waste.”
Janez Potočnik, the E.U.’s Environment Commissioner, said that its new plans will prevent harm to human health and to the environment:
“Proper treatment of WEEE is important to prevent harm to human health and the environment, and its systematic collection is the precondition for professional recycling of the valuable raw materials like gold, silver, copper and rare metals, contained in our used TVs, laptops and mobile phones.”
With small electrical items like smartphones, handheld consoles, and portable music players, it’s easy to throw them straight into the trash and forget that they should be disposed if properly. But free recycling facilities within local electrical stores should certainly improve our habits within the E.U.
Will you take advantage of free recycling within electrical stores?