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Recycle this – how IT companies dispose of their electronic waste in a sustainable manner

In Switzerland 95% of all digital devices is recycled. This is a top percentage, compared to only 20% recycling internationally. Swico, the association of digitizers, makes sure that our E-waste does not end up on illegal dumps in Africa – for which we say thank you!

We are an IT-company and we want to be clear on how we deal with electronics and scrap metals, and on how everyone can do so. We have always been concerned with waste separation: there are already 6 different waste and recycling baskets in our kitchen. But what do we do to take care of electronic waste? Switzerland recycles around 95% of its digital devices. This is a top percentage, considering the fact that only 20% is recycled worldwide. More work has to be done. Otherwise electronic waste will end up on some illegal dump, for instance in Africa. We have sat together with Swico – association of digitizers – and thanks to their proper disposal and expertise we can safely say that our waste does not harm the environment.

Current situation in Switzerland

A recent communication from the European Commission on the regulation of the recycling economy in electronic waste clearly shows that Switzerland is miles ahead of the EU when it comes to recycling. In the EU-countries, only 35% of the electronic devices ends up being recycled. At Swico this percentage is around 95%, thanks to the voluntary, private-law and independent solution of manufacturers and importers. The trend to use efficient but smaller devices continued in 2019. In the past year, an even higher percentage of old devices from IT, entertainment technology and telecommunication was returned. This is shown by Swico Recycling’s research conducted for the international recycling day on 18 March

In the last year, a total of 46.935 ton of old electronic devices was returned


Swico 2020

2019 was a year full of intense political discussions about the future of the disposal electronic devices. Swico continues to be committed to the voluntary, private-law and independent solutions from manufacturers and importers, guaranteeing a clean recycling according to the most recent technologies, possibly against a lower cost for the consumer. “It would be absurd to over-regulate a successful, self-supporting and broadly supported system”, according to Judith Bellaiche, head of Swico. “We continue to fight for the voluntary responsibility of the manufacturer, out of conviction. A recycling percentage of 95% is unique worldwide.”

Summary

Even though the awareness of resources and environment continues to grow, Swico is still a voluntary option for the disposal and recycling of electronic waste. A lot of scrap metals is still disposed of in a wrong way, harming the environment. This is not only the case for companies, but also for private homes. The importance of correct waste disposal cannot be overstated and should be supported if we want to safeguard the environment on the long term.

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