(photo credit: COURTESY ECOMMUNITY)
Though it is still common see old fax machines and fridges on the side of the road, efforts to recycle electronic waste in Israel are in full force and even surpassed their yearly targets.
Among the groups in Israel certified to collect and recycle used electronics and appliances is Ecommunity, which hold contracts with specific companies.
As part of the Electronic Waste Law, the overall goal for 2015 was for 20 percent of the total weight of electronic equipment sold annually by manufacturers and importers in Israel to be recycled.
According to Ecommunity’s annual report for 2015, the group managed to surpass the goal and recycled 24.3% of the 41,000 tons produced by the companies with which they work.
Their collection amounted to 10,000 tons recycled, including 2,223 tons of computer components, 11,000 large appliances such as washing machines, dryers and ovens, as well as 7,200 refrigerators and air conditioning units, which require special treatment due harmful chemical components.
The Electronic Waste Law, which came into effect in March 2014, has the goal of recycling 35% of e-waste by 2018 and 50% by 2021. Part of the legislation required businesses that sell electronics or batteries to accept old devices for disposal without additional payment, when a consumer is buying a new device of the same kind.
Importers and manufacturers are also required to finance the mechanisms for treating e-waste.
The legislation set a goal that by 2019, battery manufacturers and importers would recycle 30% to 35% of their products’ weight by 2019. Stores selling batteries were also required to have battery disposal bins as a result of the law.
Ecommunity’s battery recycling efforts managed to surpass their 50-ton target and recycled 52 tons, or 13%, of the 400 tons of alkaline, lithium and nickel- cadmium batteries that entered the market during the past year.
As for 2016, the company’s goal is to recycle 25% of the 45,000 tons of devices entering the market but only time will tell how much gets recycled back and how much goes to landfills.
Ecommunity’s CEO Tsahi Ein Gal told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that there is less incentive this year to surpass their 25%-target because of the dropping prices being paid to process and treat e-waste.
Sharon Udasin contributed to this report