LIFE RE-WEEE – Development and demonstration of waste electrical & electronic equipment (WEEE) prevention and reuse paradigms
Project Manager: Haris Angelakopoulos
Tel: +30 210 5319780
Address: Syngrou Av. 196 & Charokopou 2, 176 71, Kallithea
Tel: +30 210 5319762-5
Fax: +30 210 5319766
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Prevention: Replacement – Reduction, Preparing for reuse, Recycling: Reuse – Reprocessing
TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Education, information, awareness raising
WASTE STREAMS: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
About: The LIFE RE-WEEE Project aims to prevent the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) generation. In order to achieve this objective, two WEEE sorting centers (SCs) will operate for the first time in Greece, in the wider region of Attika and Central Macedonia correspondingly. The core activity of those centers is the collection, the storage and the sorting of WEEE depending on their condition and then their preparing for reuse or treatment.
The specific project objectives are to:
• Establish integrated reuse activities for WEEE management, through demonstrative operations in two WEEE sorting centers;
• Develop specifications and technical requirements based on Best Available Techniques (BATs) for the entire “preparing for reuse” cycle, to be adopted by the relevant regulatory body in Greece (Hellenic Recycling Agency – HRA) and to ensure the quality of reused EEE;
• Prepare recommendations for policy measures at all relevant levels (retail management, local authority, national and EU legislation);
• Develop reliable tools at the EU level for the accurate measurement of WEEE reuse and preparing for reuse, to facilitate relevant discussions for target setting;
• Assess the level of WEEE reuse in Greece, during the project implementation and after the end of the project intervention, using these tools;
• Investigate and improve public attitudes towards WEEE prevention (donation and exchange of EEE and repair) and reuse (i.e. acceptance of second hand markets and WEEE that have been prepared for reuse);
• Promote WEEE prevention culture in Greece; and
• Monitor and highlight the link between environmental, economic and social benefits associated with WEEE reuse and preparation for reuse.
Knowhow: As a first tentative of this kind of initiative on country, work needed to be managed based in a multidisciplinary approach, joining efforts from involved stakeholders in the WEE recovery chain.
Funding: 1.247.300 € EU contribution; 2.161.405 € total.
• Two Sorting Centers placed in the wider area of Attika and Central Macedonia region, where the collection and the sorting of WEEE will be held.
• Six promotional events and campaigns for the repair of EEE will be held in the aforesaid regions and in the SCs. Three events have already held in Athens and Thessaloniki.
• 1.500 tons of WEEE per year of categories 5 (small equipment), 6 (small IT and telecommunication equipment) and 2 (screens – only LCD) of the EU WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU will be sorted, in order to be driven to the “preparing for reuse” process.
Human resources: A great socio-economic impact is expected to be undertook by the project. Among the great number of partners taking part in the project, citizens will play a key role, through the agoras and consultation forums to be held. In there, citizens will be encouraged and involved to participate in project specific activities
The main expected results of the LIFE RE-WEEE project are the following:
- The development and operation of two WEEE sorting facilities, the first of their kind in Greece, one in the region of Attica and Central Macedonia.
- The pilot operation of these sorting facilities in the categories of interest (as aforesaid) with the scope of the management of all WEEE categories after the end of the project (except lamps – category 3).
- The development of an EU-wide methodology and tools for measuring WEEE reuse and preparing for reuse that could assist Member States in national reporting and the EU in setting relevant compulsory standards in future legislation.
- The accurate mapping of the baseline situation on WEEE reuse and preparing for reuse in Greece, which is currently based mainly on informal, small-scale private entrepreneurial initiatives.
- A set of specifications, protocols, technical requirements and guides based on best available techniques (BATs) for the entire “preparing for reuse” cycle to be adopted during the project by the regulatory body, Hellenic Recycling Agency – HRA. These specifications will enable efficient permitting of such facilities, assure their operation according to high environmental standards, and facilitate quality assurance of reused EEE.
- The development of tools to promote WEEE prevention at the consumer level, through increasing awareness and opportunities for reliable repair.
- Promotion of new regulatory targets/standards for WEEE reuse and preparing for reuse, based on stakeholders’ input and the accurate assessment tools.
- Improved awareness amongst consumers and stakeholders involved on the WEEE management chain on the preference for reuse rather than recycling WEEE
- Promotion of a WEEE prevention culture, based on social media and other attractive activities and events.
The environmental problem that addresses the LIFE RE-WEEE Project is the environmental burden caused by WEEE. This problem is further aggravated due to the continued growth of the media devices market and the shortening of the life cycle of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). These facts result in the accelerated replacement of equipment, making WEEE a fast growing waste stream in Europe. It is estimated that about 65% of the EEE currently on the European market is separated from other household waste, but over one half of such quantity probably undergoes improper treatment and is exported illegally. The result of this is the loss of valuable resources and the degradation of the environment. This type of waste has a direct link to the most dynamic economic sector and integrated in the urban metabolism.
Public awareness is essential for the success of projects like LIFE RE-WEEE. This Project includes a major action which is the development of a web platform for donating and exchanging EEE. The platform ReWeee will be used by households, companies, public services and social enterprises. Along the project, great number of “Consultation forum” were done in order to engage the population to it.
This project aims to prevent the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) generation and promote the “preparing for reuse” principles, in line to the EU policy. The two SCs are the first facilities of this type done in Greece (in the region of Attika and Central Macedonia correspondingly), so that is a great start of WEEE waste management giving priority to the “preparing for reuse” principles. Moreover, the repair events that will be held in the context of the Project implementation will promote the repair of EEE and increase the public awareness regarding the prevention of WEEE generation. During these events, appliances that can be fixed will be repaired on the spot, giving their owners the opportunity to learn simple repair techniques they can use themselves to fix similar problems in the future. In parallel, a guide for simple repair techniques of household appliances by the users is available to the public.
This is a great proposal to reduce WEEE, although the results are not available yet. In that respect, lots of WEEE management projects were done around Europe making an increase of the electrical and electronic waste through time. As indicative, there were collected 3.876.521 Tons of wastes in 2015 around Europe.
This suggests that the current project can be highly reproduced, not only in the wider regions of Greece, but in other European countries as well that are in a low level of “preparing for reuse” activities, with a great results and also contribute to the great net of countries involved in the management of this waste stream.
- the development of a web platform for donating and exchanging EEE
This project is directly linked with citizen participation, a factor that may increase risk, however, mechanisms are to limit a poor foresight or unexpected problems related to the possible lack of participation.
A large number of economic factors must be taken in mind when trying to manage the waste and encourage the population to participate (through forums and conventions). Moreover, the Project involves the stakeholders of the overall chain of WEEE management, by organizing informative and educational activities of the WEEE collection, transportation and handling and developing technical requirements and specifications for the proper settlement and operation of SC facilities, in order to increase the quantities of WEEE suitable to be prepared for reuse. In the beginning of the Project, there was a lack of requirements for the preparing for reuse in Greece.
Among the project objectives is the development of these requirements in order to be implemented in a pilot phase during the SCs operation and be adjust with the Greek conditions. these activities contitute a challege for the Project, since is the first effort taken place regarding the the priority of the WEEE preparing for reuse process rather than to be driven to the treatment facilities.