The total amount of waste collected in the first four years of activity by the National Management System amounts to almost one million tons Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). The figure emerged during the WEEE Forum held in recent days in Rimini as part of Ecomondo and was presented by the president of the WEEE Coordination Center, Danilo Bonato.
“Take stock of these first four years of activity - explained Danilo Bonato - allows us to see how the Italian WEEE system has rapidly consolidated and achieved important results ".
The important results to which the president of the WEEE Coordination Center refers are above all in the data of the collection of a type of waste which, if properly treated, allows for strong environmental benefits. For example, from 2009 to date about 50 million have been treated and recycled energy efficient lamps avoiding the dispersion into the environment of 365 tons of highly harmful mercury powders.
The WEEE CdC also accompanied the Italians in the transition to digital terrestrial television treating and recycling over 15 million old obsolete televisions. Also on the climate change front, the collection of WEEE has made its positive contribution. With the recycling of refrigerators and air conditioners alone, it is estimated that emissions of 9 million tons of CO2 equivalent have been avoided.
Finally, the presence of a multi-consortium system coordinated by the RAEE CoC has guaranteed a homogeneous service throughout the national territory with over 500,000 collection missions at 3,400 collection centers with a service quality rate now stabilized at 98%.
“The work done so far - Bonato continued - has enormous value for the community, especially from the point of view of safety, health protection and environmental protection. If today the collection quantities, in Italy as in other European countries, start to decrease, it is good to listen to the alarm bells and strengthen the system to counteract the current trend ”.
In fact, the decrease in the waste flows sent for proper treatment is partly determined by value of some raw materials, especially metals, which made it convenient to manage WEEE, not always suitable, outside the official system. A management that, however, risks focusing attention only on the recycling of some materials, without taking charge of all the components, even harmful ones, present in the WEEE.
“To reverse this trend - concluded Bonato - it is important to focus on the transposition of the new European Directive on WEEE and to insist on those legislative levers that allow the system to be strengthened and therefore ensure that WEEE is recycled correctly and collection by the national system returns to growth ".