The waste recycling law and its implementation
The waste recycling law: this is how we will overcome the challenges in our path.
By Gadi Reichman
Excerpted from an article written in M.A.I. Electronics Recycling Corporation’s annual activities summary for 2014.
In March of 2014, the electronic waste recycling law came into force. The law sets increasing recycling targets that will reach 50% by 2021. Important as it is, the law, in and of itself, isn’t a comprehensive solution. Once the law came into effect, we were faced with three main challenges. Each of them presented a world of issues, and required us to invest thought into the solution, and implement our solutions thoroughly and extensively.
The first challenge concerned the consumers, or, in other words, the need to educate the public and change habits. Consumers must understand the importance of recycling and reusing, play a role in that process, and demand that manufacturers be much “greener”.
In this regard, we are now experiencing a genuine revolution in consumers’ approach, and this manifests itself in three main areas.
- Consumers expect that “tomorrow”, the product they are purchasing will still have economic value and retain its usability. In other words, it should be possible to refurbish the product and have another end user reuse it, and this is how we can preserve the environment, as well as maintain economic efficiency.
- Consumers are increasingly interested in ensuring that the product they purchased today will have some kind of continuity in the future, after they had finished using it themselves. An example would be a product that was properly designed for rapid recycling or for another use after it has outlived its purpose. This starkly contrasts with today’s most prevalent approach – “use it and dump”.
- Consumers expect manufacturers or importers to be greener, to create their products from recycled materials, to recycle what they produce, and not to pollute the air or the water during the manufacturing process.
The second challenge is implementing the law. As part of their public and legal role, implementation entities need to place an emphasis on pubic accessibility, and roll out complex logistics systems for collecting electronic waste. This is an expensive and complex issue, and not just with regard to the reuse and recycling processes. The third challenge is how we treat and recycle large quantities of waste.
For quite a while, we at All Trade have been preparing ourselves for providing a comprehensive response through a unique and environmentally-friendly process. Working in extensive collaboration with M.A.I. Corporation, we collect and recycle electronic waste on behalf of the corporation, and then, with help from M.A.I., sort the waste and send it to an authorized recycling facility.
Products with “technological potential” are sent to the electronic waste refurbishing plant, where the internal assemblies are fixed and the product is aesthetically improved. Afterwards, we sell these products in Israel and around the world, and provide service, warranties, and installation for them. This is how we reduce production and consumption of new products, and reduce the production of products without “technological potential”.
Working at the most advanced plant in the Middle East, we automatically recycle products into the metals they were made from, and produce iron, plastic, aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and other metals, using dry processes that do not pollute or create emissions. This is how we minimize the need for mining metals and the pollution associated with their extraction.
The author is the C.E.O. of All Trade, an M.A.I.-approved treatment facility.