Fewer old phones and toasters are being handed in for recycling

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dutch households are either dumping or holding on to their redundant electrical goods, letting valuable recyclable components go to waste, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.

The percentage of electronic goods available for recycling in the Netherlands tumbled from 54% in 2017 to 48% in 2018, prompting the electronics sector’s collection and recycling body NVMP to initiate a week long awareness campaign, which will take place from October 14.

‘Many valuable parts such as metals and battery components end up as residual waste, are incinerated or disappear abroad, for instance to Africa,’ NVMP chair Jan Kamminga told the paper.

Kamminga said the reason less electronic equipment is recycled is that the sale of electrical goods is overtaking the sector’s ability to collect discarded apparatus.

In the Netherlands the producers of electrical goods are responsible for the collection. However, European rules which come into effect next year stipulate the producers of electronic goods waste must collect at least the equivalent of 65% of the products they sell.

Because more electronic goods are being sold, the onus is on the producers to collect more of it for recycling, Kamminga said. However, as things stand the public will have to help them achieve the required percentage.

‘We won’t get the death penalty but we will be fined and that would be a shame,’ said Kamminga.  Apart from raising awareness a financial incentive might persuade people to part with their old electronic goods.

‘We are in favour of a deposit system, but that is a political hot potato,’ he said.

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