Recycling of electrical goods is catching on

Retail chains are gradually starting to comply with regulations on the recycling of electric appliances. But still, today, three years after the relevant law was passed, only 13 firms operating in the broader sector of electric appliances, mobile telephony and technology have signed up for the recycling program. It is believed, however, that all of the businesses in the specific area will eventually start recycling. A basic parameter that the consumer should know, as a directly interested party, is that when delivering an appliance all companies are required by law to collect a similar, old appliance for recycling. This is a new concept in the domestic commercial world, which in some cases entails high costs and deters firms from accepting an old electric device in exchange. Consumers should know that company staff are obliged to collect the old machine from their homes when delivering new ones. The cost should be exclusively born by the company. But consumers, for the past three years, have been paying a recycling fee for their old devices. The fee is calculated by weight, and eventually increases the final product price by up to 10 euros. »Recycling requires a special space in firms’ warehouses. Another cost involves the operation of more trucks and hiring extra personnel. In addition, chains which have outsourced their warehouses to logistics companies will have to gradually expand their contracts, meaning an increase in costs,» Dimitris Kokkalis, commercial director with the Electroniki Athinon chain, told Kathimerini. »Recycling of such appliances is still at an early stage and its operation requires faultless organization, which I believe will be achieved gradually,» said Dimitris Dimopoulos, CEO of DI.A.S Logistics and Diahirisi. Obligatory The recycling of electrical appliances, besides being a citizens’ duty toward the environment, is a legal obligation and violation incurs certain sanctions as stipulated in EU legislation. The only recycling body currently operating in Greece is the company Anakyklosi SA (Recycling SA), set up by electrical appliance importers and manufacturers as a non-profit company. It is something like a public service that has been allotted by the EU to manufacturers. This company’s activity is to take the old appliances from the stores and transport them to one of the country’s five recycling plants. It pays the retailers some -120 per ton, whereas scrapyards pay -300 a ton. It also arranges for containers to be put in areas designated by retail businesses in order to hold the old appliances. This month a number of retail companies are preparing to officially commence collection of old appliances, and are also preparing an advertising campaign. But the sector’s professionals are concerned over the appropriate operation of the recycling effort, especially with a number of institutional matters still pending. Currently, neither retail stores nor Anakyklosi SA are properly equipped to carry out this job and sufficiently meet the needs across the country. Anakyklosi has so far signed recycling contracts with some 350 municipalities and its network is steadily growing.