17,351 tons of EEE back in the loop in Cyprus

17,351 tons of EEE back in the loop in Cyprus

August 1, 2019
Marcia González

Cyprus enjoying WEEE success, with more set to come

WEEE Cyprus has recycled 17,351 tons of electric and electronic appliances, WEEE Cyprus President Stelios Athanasiou has told Cyprus News Agency (CNA), noting that today there are over 260 points of collection throughout the island.

In an interview with CNA, Athanasiou speaks of the organization’s establishment and work, the problems it is faced with and also explains why consumers should recycle their old electric and electronic appliances instead of throwing them away. Replying to a question about the establishment of WEEE Cyprus, Athanasiou says it was an initiative of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and was established on 1 June 2008, as a non-for-profit organization in line with the relevant regulation which was in place.

A legislation adopted in 2002 defines the framework of electric and electronic equipment producers’ duties and responsibilities which in the case of Cyprus concerns companies importing such equipment in the Republic, he notes.

“WEEE Cyprus is the first and only licensed collective waste compliance system for electrical and electronic equipment in Cyprus,” he said.

Asked how many companies participate in the system, Athanasiou reported that today there are 378 companies that are registered with WEEE Cyprus, adding that 26 of those are shareholders in the organization.

The organization collects large and small domestic appliances.

“We also collect information and telecommunications equipment, consumer products, such as televisions, lamps, electric and electronic tools, games and sport entertainment equipment, medical appliances, monitoring devices and automatic distribution devices,” he added.

To put it plainly, he points out, “our organization can recycle anything which uses a plug or batteries”.

Of the more than 260 electric and electronic appliances collection points throughout the country, there are 76 points of the collection of lamps, 145 pallets for small appliances and 39 hook containers.

He announced that “very soon the number of hook containers will increase to 68, a significant investment which will cost close to €100,000”.

Replying to a question posed about the volume of appliances recycled, he says that “from 2009 to 2011 we collected small quantities of electric appliances”.

From 2011 onward “quantities increased at a stable rate”.

Athanasiou also refers to a serious problem WEEE faces which has to do with the operation of the so called ‘free-riders’, who do not manage the appliances in the appropriate manner, resulting in them ending up in scrap metal waste. “Our organization guarantees that appliances will be recycled in the appropriate manner,” he assures.

Asked why consumers should recycle their old electric appliance instead of throwing it away, WEEE President explains that electric and electronic appliances are by law considered as dangerous waste.

Therefore, he says, when consumers “throw away their appliance instead of recycling it they harm not only the environment but also their own health.”

Furthermore, he adds, “by recycling appliances the waste volume drops while their materials are made the most of and reduces the need to mine them.”

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