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Electronics Production | March 17, 2006

Are you ready to collect & recycle WEEE in Germany from 23 March?

Under the EC Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which was implemented in Germany as the ElektroG Act, producers of business electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) in Germany must provide collection and recycling of WEEE arising from new product sales from 23 March 2006.
Producers are defined as companies that manufacture and sell affected electrical or electronic equipment in Germany or import such equipment into Germany.

Article 10 (2) of ElektroG requires producers of business products (B2B) 'to provide a reasonable option for the return and recycling of WEEE'. The Elektro-Altgeraete Register (EAR) will contact business producers to ask what collection and recycling arrangements they have put in place in Germany.

All producers of EEE in Germany were required to register with the EAR www.stiftung-ear.de by 24 November 2005. Producers who are not registered are prohibited from putting EEE on the market in Germany. In February, the federal authorities revealed 4,225 producers had registered.

An international environmental consultancy, ENVIRON has developed a web-based pan-European collection and recycling system for B2B WEEE, which is presented on the dedicated website www.b2bweee.com

In Germany and almost all other Member States, business WEEE can not be deposited at civic amenity sites or other collection facilities for household WEEE. Instead, the B2B producer must arrange for the WEEE to be collected from the business end-user's premises by a licensed waste carrier and taken to a licensed WEEE recycler.

Based on an analysis of WEEE recycling quotes received from the leading pan-European WEEE recycling organizations, ENVIRON recommends the European Advanced Recycling Network (EARN) www.earn-electronics.com, which was formed in May 2005 from five of the largest recycling companies in Europe: Coolrec, STENA Technoworld, Indumetal, Electrocycling and Ecotronics (located on the map below).



The average EARN recycling cost for non-hazardous WEEE across Member States is currently €165 per tonne. EARN charges €500 per country for recycling data compliance reporting to the WEEE Agency in each Member State, and assistance with WEEE producer registration if required (i.e. translation of company registration data into national language and submission of relevant forms to the WEEE Agency).

ENVIRON's web-based system helps producers ensure that arrangements for transportation of B2B WEEE from businesses to the EARN recycling facility in each Member State comply with the EC Waste Framework Directive. The system enables the B2B producer to provide business end-users with a recycling collection label that they can easily complete to generate the required documentation themselves.

To manage and communicate collection and recycling arrangements to business end-users, ENVIRON helps the B2B producer to create a dedicated area on his website. The website address can be printed on the product below the crossed-out wheelie bin to indicate where business end-users should go to get more information about the B2B producer's collection and recycling arrangements. The website provides the business end-user with an appropriate recycling collection label that contains details for the B2B producers nominated carrier(s) and selected recycling organisation in that country. The business end-user can download the label, complete the details, and affix it to a cardboard box or other suitable container ready for collection.

By showing the business end-user how to contact the carrier to arrange and pay for a WEEE collection, the B2B producer's web-site saves money on avoided administration costs. The web-based approach also provides the B2B producer with flexibility and control of future WEEE recycling arrangements. The producer can change recyclers in individual countries as necessary to take advantage of new recycling technologies and techniques that may deliver higher revenue returns for its waste equipment. The producer's website provides a single corporate solution for WEEE collection and recycling across Europe, which can be expanded to cover WEEE recycling in other countries (e.g. US, Canada, Japan, China, Korea etc).

Further details about ENVIRON's web-based pan-European collection and recycling system for B2B WEEE are available at www.b2bweee.com.

An international environmental and health sciences consulting firm, ENVIRON practices from a global network of offices in the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Our professionals address a wide variety of issues related to the presence of chemicals in the environment; in food ingredients and packaging; in drugs, medical devices, and consumer products; and in the workplace; as well as business issues related to the development and use of energy and environmental technologies.

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