The richness of e-waste
´E-waste´. Sounds a bit negative, doesn´t it? But for us, it´s our shared asset for the future. Bringing in electrical and electronic appliances to Recupel means that the devices - and the harmful substances they contain - don´t end up in nature. But recycling electrical and electronic appliances means far, far more for the environment. These appliances contain many valuable raw materials - such as cobalt, gold, silver, aluminium and plastic. Last year we could extract and reuse an average of 90% of these materials from electro. In this way, these raw materials don´t get lost, but rather are fed back into the economy in the form of new products.
´Urban mining , does that ring a bell? We should be using raw materials that we extract from the city not one time but over and over again. More urban mining is an absolute necessity in any case, because raw materials from the classical mining industry are slowly running out. Moreover, urban mining is a lot better for our environment and society. So it´s a win-win situation!
Need more convincing?
- 50 million tonnes of e-waste: that´s what we produce worldwide every year. The weight of 4,500 Eiffel Towers.
- A Belgian family has an average of 77 appliances, of which 10 are no longer being used.
- There are 50 times more valuable metals and minerals in e-waste than in the ores extracted from mines.
- The value of the metal in all unused appliances is estimated to be 65 billion euros.
- The circular economy can generate a growth rate of 3% to 6%, not to mention thousands of jobs.
These figures make clear what enormous potential e-waste has, and why every little bit helps if we make an extra effort together. They encourage us to do more every day, so that the circular economy becomes a reality sooner. You can read about the initiatives that our employees and partners launched in 2018 in our annual report.
Where to bring in e-waste?
Convinced that you are contributing to a better world when you bring in electrical and electronic appliances? Yes, mission accomplished! Or at least partly, because these devices still have to find their way to us. Luckily for you, Recupel offers a simple solution. We are expanding our collection network year by year and it offers several options:
- Defective device? Then bring it to one of the 7,283 collection points in Belgium or 564 recycling parks. Moreover, did you know that we have a solution that is custom-tailored for small electrical and electronic appliances? You can find our 2,615 Recycle Points in supermarkets, DIY stores, recycling shops, etc.
- Discarded devices that still work end up in a reuse centre - Recupel works together with 24 of them in Belgium. They repair whatever is necessary and prepare your device to be reused. Then it is sent to one of the many recycling shops where it can embark on a second life.