E-scrap compliance costs much larger than margins

A study commissioned by the European Electronics Recyclers Association (EERA) has concluded that compliance requirements are substantial.
Siegfried Springer, pixelio.de

The research looked at the current e-scrap business model in Europe and focused specifically on operational costs, it was explained to the latest meeting of the BIR E-Scrap Committee by Federico Magalini, Managing Director of Sofies UK. It was found that, for example, avoiding some quality and service requirements – such as reporting to authorities/compliance schemes, waste characterisation and audits – could cut costs by around 20% in the case of cooling & freezing equipment and CRTs. “The effect of avoided compliance costs is much larger than margins,” he informed delegates in London on October 7.

Also at the meeting, which was chaired by Thomas Papageorgiou of Greece-based Anamet SA, it was reported that China’s plastics import ban has led to significant volumes heading instead to countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam where infrastructures cannot cope with the increased volumes. Recyclers in these countries often employ the cheapest methods which result in a more significant environmental impact, according to Steve Wong, Executive President of the China Scrap Plastics Association. “The solution for the future,” he said, “will be technology and recycling at source.”

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