The rising number of tech tools raised also the quantity of electronics trash, creating a big problem for the gathering, revitalizing and recycling of them. Every Italian produces an average of 14.7 kg of RAEE per year; only 30% of the items are correctly gathered and sent to the recovery. RAEE garbage that Italians usually replace more often are televisions and monitors, devices and small household appliances, air conditioners and washing machines, refrigerators and cleaning machines.
The new directive RAEE 2012/19/UE, transposed in Italy with the Law n.49 of 14/03/2014, expect the adjustment of RAEE minimum quantities to gather, reaching 65% by 2019. In fact, the new European regulation goal is to increase gathered and recycled RAEE and to help the citizens doing that. A concrete example of this is the ordering that forces sales points that exceed 400sm to provide for free a gather of small RAEE delivered to them by citizens without any obligation to buy new devices. We would like to enlighten two important projects started in Italy that expect a big environmental education with two different target groups:
- Progetto RAEE@Scuola – the project expert the partnership of 50 municipalities’ primary and secondary schools from different parts of Italy. It is an important step for environmental education with kids as main actors to make them more aware of sharing good practices of RAEE waste management with peers and relatives. Another aim of the project is to make schools “permanent gathering RAEE points”;
- RAEE in jail – the project has two objectives: the first one is social (work reintegration) and the second one is environmental (recovery and recycling of materials). On one hand it fosters the reintegration of inmates or ex-inmates, on the other hand it helps to recover precious materials from the recycling of household appliances. In 2014 this initiative was rewarded as “Best Italian Project” by the Italian committee that promoted the European week of trash reduction for “its capacity to match social initiatives with environmental issues”.
We should remember that tech trash has a huge economical and environmental value.
Recycling RAEE correctly means recovering raw materials and precious metals to reintroduce into production cycle and saving energy reducing CO2 emissions