COLLECTION AND TREATMENT OF WASTE ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT IN ITALYExplore data
In order to prevent electronic waste being dumped or disposed of together with other waste, the citizen can dispose of its WEEE free of charge in the collection facilities set up by local authorities or take advantage of the “1 against 1” or “1 against 0” service handing it over to a retailer . Through the collective systems, the EEE manufacturers to fund and manage the entire system of recycling electric waste until it is transformed into secondary raw materials. The cost of the activity of the collective systems is funded by the eco-contribution that is paid by the consumer purchasing a new product.
In compliance with Italian legislative decree 49/2014, the producers of domestic EEE assign responsibility for managing domestic WEEE to the Collective Systems. There are currently 13 non-profit making Collective Systems managing the transport, treatment and recovery of WEEE in compliance with the provisions of the decree and the rules set by the WEEE Coordination Centre. The burden of the Collective Systems is proportionate to the market share of the respective producers in each of the five groups into which WEEE is divided. R1 (cooling and freezing appliances), R2 (large household appliances), R3 (screen monitors), R4 (consumer equipment), R5 (lighting equipment).
In 2019 in Italy, the Collective Systems collected 343,069 tonnes of WEEE from over 5 thousand collection points and sent it for correct processing. This is more than 10.45% compared with 2018 and is the equivalent of collecting 5.68 kg per capita. The largest percentage of WEEE collected is R2, followed by R1 and by small household appliance, consumer equipment and photovoltaic panels (R4). The decline in weight of appliances with screens (R3) collected was an expected natural development. Lighting, (R5), because of the nature of the product, was the category that was collected least. Voluntary collection of R5 by some Collective Systems has contributed to increase the total collection of lighting by 35% to 2,796 tonnes.
In order to constantly improve WEEE collection both in quantitative and qualitative terms, producer, through the Collective Systems, support the local authorities and managers of the centres with funding. These amounts (“efficiency rewards”) are paid on the basis of certain defined criteria on the occurrence of good operating conditions by the collection facilities. In particular, the quality of the collected WEEE and the quantity of waste collected are criteria for payment of the rewards.
Collection of WEEE is not uniform throughout the country. The most virtuous regions are those of the north, where in 2019 186 thousand tonnes of electric waste were collected, which amount to 54.27% of the national total. The most virtuous region in the north is Valle d’Aosta, which is the region with the greatest per capita collection in Italy. The Centre, and the South and Islands accounted respectively for 23.18% and 22.55% of the rest of the waste collected. In central Italy, Tuscany is the region in which the greatest amount per capita was collected whereas in the South and Islands, most waste was collected in Sardinia.