E-waste recycling company collects 5,000 tons during law's first year

During the first year of the Electronic Waste Law's enforcement in Israel, one of the major collection companies received some 5,000 tons of "e-waste" – surpassing the company's targets for the year.

bBarrels of electrical plugs and products collected by e-waste recycling company M.A.I. (photo credit: COURTESY OF M.A.I)
bBarrels of electrical plugs and products collected by e-waste recycling company M.A.I.
(photo credit: COURTESY OF M.A.I)
M.A.I. – Electronics Recycling Corp., one of the accredited companies engaged in Israeli electronic waste recycling, reported exceeding e-waste recycling goals for 2014 – targets that stood at about 15 percent of the weight of electrical equipment sold by importers making use of M.A.I.’s services.
While targets set by the law for M.A.I. called for a collection of 4,700 tons of e-waste, the company said it collected 5,000 tons. After a two-month delay, the Electronic Waste Law went into force on March 1, 2014, following approval of the law’s regulations by the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee on January 28 of that year.
The E-Waste Law requires manufacturers and importers of electronic goods to recycle 50% of the total weight of electronic equipment they sell annually by the year 2021.
Businesses that sell electronics are required to accept old devices for disposal without additional payment when a consumer is buying a new device of the same kind.
In addition, the legislation requires that manufacturers and importers of batteries recycle 30% to 35% of their products, depending on the type of batteries sold, by 2019. Stores that sell batteries are required to have battery disposal bins.
The bill also requires that importers and manufacturers finance the treatment mechanisms for the waste.
M.A.I. is among the few accredited companies in Israel collecting the e-waste from the manufacturers and importers and performing the recycling process. One of the only others is the Ecommunity Group, which employs special needs workers as the majority of its staff members.
At M.A.I., the company said that the peak collection period for the year took place between August and October. All in all, the products collected by M.A.I. included 2,880 tons of large electrical products, 854 tons of heating and cooling appliances, 469 tons of communication and computing tools, 252 tons of small appliances, 27 tons of electronic screens and 4 tons of lighting products, the company said.
M.A.I. is working with about 50 importers and manufacturers across a variety of industries, including Tadiran, IKEA, Semicom, Miniline and others, the firm added.
“In the coming months we will invest another NIS 3 million in developing collection and treatment infrastructure,” said Amnon Sharoor, CEO of M.A.I.
M.A.I. has signed long-term contracts to deploy about 2,500 e-waste collection points around the country, in addition to existing points at retail chains, electronics stores, gas stations, convenience stores and the Israel Postal Company. The company has also begun teaming up with some social organizations to promote e-waste collection, the firm added.