The FINANCIAL — Waste electrical and electronic equipment is a complex mixture of materials and components that can cause major environmental and health problems if not properly managed. As a result, considerable effort is being put into improving the collection, treatment and recycling of electronics at the end of their life.
At the European Union (EU) level, it is estimated that 8.9 kg of waste electrical and electronic equipment was collected per inhabitant in 2016, an increase of 25 % over the five years since 2011.
The total amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment collected in the EU Member States i 2016 varied considerably, ranging from 1.6 kg per inhabitant in Romania to 16.5 kg per inhabitant in Sweden. The variation in the amounts collected reflects differences in the levels of consumption of electrical and electronic goods as well as the different performance levels of existing waste collection schemes.
More than half (55.6 %) of the total electric and electronic waste equipment collected in 2016 was attributable to large household appliances. This was followed by IT and telecommunications equipment (14.8 %), consumer equipment/photovoltaic panels (13.5 %) and small household appliances (9.0 %). The remaining 7.2 % of waste electrical and electronic equipment includes electric tools, lighting, toys and sports equipment.