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LIFE - INFOCYCLE - Development of a Communication and Training campaign for the recycling of Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

LIFE13 INF/GR/001342


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Contact details:

Contact person: Charalampos Angelakopoulos
Tel: 302105319780
Fax: 302105319766
Email: hagelakopoulos@electrocycle.gr



Project description:

Background

The generation of electronic waste in Greece is estimated at around 14 kg/per capita annually, significantly higher than the EU average (3.5kg/capita). The WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU) sets specifications for the treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and specific recycling targets for EU Member States. The collection rate for WEEE in Greece is limited due to relatively poor citizen participation. This is due to low levels of environmental education, a lack of implementation of recycling schemes for WEEE by local government bodies, and limited trust towards recycling systems. In addition, the existence of peddlers illegally collecting and trading WEEE and used electrical parts at extremely low prices hinders the effectiveness of current recycling schemes. Meanwhile, companies cooperating with the Appliances Recycling S.A. system do not always implement the foreseen environmental techniques when managing end-of-life equipment. As a result, collected WEEE can be of low quality with parts of significant market value (when recycled) missing; while hazardous substances such as mercury, cadmium, lead, asbestos and PCBs are extracted without specific precautions, endangering the natural environment.


Objectives

The LIFE - INFOCYCLE project aimed at improving the available quantity of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) in the Epirus and Thessaly regions of Greece, with actions also aimed at increasing the quality of processes at existing collective recycling schemes run by project partners. This will minimise the environmental footprint of WEEE. Complementary actions were aimed at increasing environmental awareness regarding the risks of maltreating WEEE. More specifically, the project planned significant communication actions and a series of training activities, both for partners operating recycling scheme and for local and regional authorities.


Results

The LIFE - INFOCYCLE project helped to minimise the impacts caused by the improper management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in the Greek regions of Epirus and Thessaly, as defined by current Greek and European legislation. The project achieved all its set objectives. Relevant stakeholders were identified, contacted and trained using educational materials developed by the project.

The project developed 9 sets of working instructions (per type of WEEE and stakeholder), 7 manuals (one per each per type of waste), 8 ‘how-to-do’ videos, and several technical and dissemination presentations. The beneficiaries organised 15 roadshows at different locations in Epirus and Thessaly, using a range of media to increase awareness about the issue of collecting, handling and recycling WEEE. The 15 roadshows were attended by more than 2 000 people. Their main feature was a specially designed trailer that contained audio-visual material produced by the project. Citizens could bring their own WEEE to the roadshows and deposit it in labelled bins.

LIFE – INFOCYCLE organised 7 educational workshops to train project stakeholders in the sound management of WEEE. These were held at different locations in the two regions and were attended by 260 people. The project developed a range of training materials for these workshops, including 6 training videos, a demonstration vehicle illustrating the handling of WEEE, and project presentations. In addition, 28 seminars and on-site training events were held for selected enterprises, such as scrap dealers and recycling companies, in collaboration with regional authorities. The project also organised another 17 seminars specifically to inform and raise awareness within regional authorities.

The project team conducted an information campaign involving advertisement spots on 15 local radio stations, articles and adverts in the local and regional press, and also disseminated their message through social media and a website. Project noticeboards were created and erected at WEEE collection points in participating municipalities, and at the two recycling facilities where training events took place.

In terms of transferability, the how-to-do videos contain good practice and bad practice examples of WEEE management that are relevant throughout the EU. They have been taken up by WEEE management authorities in Norway and the Czech Republic. Other training and awareness-raising actions also have very good demonstration and transferability value. Some of the project's results, for example, have become part of the future plans of the Hellenic Recycling Agency, which is looking to enhance WEEE collection and management in Greece.

Improving the awareness on recycling WEEE is expected to lead to higher WEEE recycling rates in the medium/long term in the project areas. Waste management is an important topic for Greece, which currently has one of the lowest recycling rates amongst EU Member States. The majority of its generated WEEE is disposed in landfills. This leads to significant environmental and economic problems, and represents a waste of resources as materials of high market value are not being recovered.

The project has significant policy implications. Greece is implementing a new solid waste management policy for the next 15 years. LIFE - INFOCYCLE results may be useful not only to the management of WEEE but also other waste streams. In addition to directly addressing the objectives of the EU WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU), the project has relevance for other policies relating to waste management, the circular economy, and environmental protection.

Enhancement of environmental education can generate a solid basis for increasing citizens’ participation in any recycling scheme, improving today’s situation dramatically. Social benefits include potential increases in employment and income from jobs relating to WEEE recycling facilities. Other social benefits can be linked with welfare from better environmental conditions.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report (see "Read more" section).


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Information - Governance - Environmental training - Capacity building
Information - Governance - Awareness raising - Information
Waste - Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)


Keywords

public awareness campaign‚  waste recycling‚  environmental training‚  electronic material


Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • Directive 2012/19 - Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) (04.07.2012)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Appliances Recycling S.A.
Type of organisation National authority
Description Appliances Recycling S.A. is the official authority for the organisation, operation and monitoring of the collective recycling system of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) in Greece. The authority’s goal is to ensure that WEEE management is environmentally sound.
Partners TERRA NOVA(TERRA NOVA Environmental Consulting Engineering Ltd), Greece XYZ(IOANNIS KOPSIAS NIKOLAOS MISTRIOTIS OE - XYZ PRODUCTIONS), Greece

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Project reference LIFE13 INF/GR/001342
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 30-JUN -2016
Total budget 739,875.00 €
EU contribution 369,937.00 €
Project location Thessalia(Ellas) Ipeiros(Ellas)

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Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Layman report Layman report (Greek version)
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version