Ireland More than 20 percent more electronic waste disposed of

15:50  04 july  2020
15:50  04 july  2020 Source:   businessinsider.de

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Since the end of the corona lockdown, more than 20 percent more electronic waste has been disposed of in Germany than in the same period a year earlier.

Alte Mobiltelefone liegen in einer Schubkarre. © Photo: Maurizio Gambarini / dpa Old mobile phones are in a wheelbarrow.

"The extensive reduction of life to the home environment seems to have led to increased" clean-up actions "overall," said Bernhard Jehle, chairman of the Federal Association for Secondary Raw Materials and Disposal (bvse) of the German Press Agency. Compared to the same period in 2019, the amount of old electrical equipment disposed of grew by 20 to 30 percent. Particularly where many recycling centers had closed due to corona, a lot of electronic waste is now arriving, which in the meantime had probably been stored at home. The restart in the industry is also causing growing quantities.

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However, the recycling companies that complained of a lull during the lockdown cannot benefit from the current boom - on the contrary: The logistics now have to be reorganized extremely quickly, for example to continue to be able to quickly collect large electrical appliances. In addition, full stores in the factories, as they currently often occur, also harbor dangers: Lithium batteries from cell phones in particular can easily cause fires. "A fire on a recycling plant can threaten your existence," says Jehle.

The trade association therefore demands that cell phones should be disconnected from their batteries as soon as they are accepted. This requirement is currently being violated too often. In addition, manufacturers of devices would have to inform their customers about the importance of correct disposal. According to a current UN report, many citizens simply dispose of their old devices in their household waste instead of taking them to the recycling center.

"We are in a vicious cycle," complained Jehle. There is a lack of demand for metals in the paralyzed industry. At the same time, the offer is very high. "When a high supply meets a weak demand, this in turn leads to falling metal prices and melting margins for the recycling companies."

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