The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) has added photovoltaic modules as a new device category to the Ordinance on the Return, Taking Back and Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (ORDEE). This ordinance is currently being revised. While the current ordinance – much like the European Union’s WEEE Directive – represents a voluntary agreement for companies or private individuals who bring electrical or electronic appliances onto the Swiss market, the revised version includes a planned advance recycling fee (ARF) to cover the costs of processing appliances that have reached the end of their operating life.
The SENS Foundation, operating under the SENS eRecycling brand, is the largest take-back system for electrical and electronic appliances, lamps and lighting equipment in Switzerland, and already takes back discarded photovoltaic modules. Although SENS is responsible for the collection and recycling, PV CYCLE also contributes its expertise in photovoltaic module waste management. The industry association SWISSOLAR and PV CYCLE shall together be represented in the ARF (Advanced recycling fee) Commission of SENS ensuring that the interests of the PV industry are represented.
With SENS, PV CYCLE enters into its second national partnership after having agreed with the Czech WEEE-scheme RETELA to collaborate on PV waste management in the Czech Republic in April 2013.