The environmental problem
The environmental problem that Infocycle aims at addressing is the environmental burden caused by the increased pollution from hazardous substances in components of WEEE, which derives from the environmentally unsound management in targeted geographical areas of the Greek territory, namely the Regions of Thessaly and Epirus. The dual problem identified in the above regions is comprised of the two following parts:
- the reduced amount of WEEE collected through the network of APPLIANCES RECYCLING S.A.
- the environmentally unsound management of WEEE collected by the stakeholders.
The main cause of these problems derives from the inadequate knowledge about the necessity and obligation of WEEE recycling through the Collective take back scheme, as well as the environmental benefits of this process, which leads to illegal discharge/abandonment of WEEE in unauthorized areas, thus allowing the operation of illegal management network. Moreover, Collective take back scheme partner’s and stakeholder’s poor training, allows the input of a significant number of damaged appliances into the network of the scheme.
The problem of the environmentally unsound management, performed through a network not associating with APPLIANCES RECYCLING S.A., is the key problem of the WEEE management throughout the country. It is stressed that APPLIANCES RECYCLING S.A. is the only alternative management system for all WEEE categories approved by the appropriate authority of Hellenic Recycling Organization (H.R.A.), and therefore the environmentally sound management of WEEE is only ensured by the management (collection) of WEEE through the associated networks.
The high economic value of WEEE due to their composition and the presence of components made of various metals, has resulted in an increased interest for their collection by peddlers or other social groups active in the collection of scrap metal. This activity has the direct impact of the loss of WEEE amounts collected through the authorised network and the indirect impact of environmental pollution caused by improper management (delivery to scrap dealers who perform compaction/ cutting of appliances without de-pollution).