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ECOTIC LIFE+ Caravan - Raising awareness of the importance of environmentally sound management of WEEE among identified target groups - Romania

LIFE13 INF/RO/000090


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Contact details:

Contact person: Ema CUMPATA
Email: ema.cumpata@ecotic.ro



Project description:

Background

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) poses a threat to the environment and to health. It is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the European Union, making up around 4% of municipal waste. According to a 2007 United Nations study, WEEE gathered from across the EU27 amounted to an estimated 8.3 - 9.1 million tonnes per year, growing at an estimated 3% - 5% each year. Currently a large proportion of this is disposed in landfills or in iron scrap sites depending on local or national practices.

The pressure through European legislation to achieve target collection rates is high, as reflected by the 2012 WEEE Directive - in force from August 2016 onwards - with a collection target of 40% of electrical and electronic equipment. In Romania, however, the collected quantities of WEEE waste are well below average for EU countries (source: Eurostat 2010) and collection is significantly less efficient than recommended by EU best practices. As the vast majority of electrical and electronic items currently thrown out with usual rubbish can be recycled, a huge potential for growth in collection rates exists, and more efforts could be taken to raise awareness and thus boost separate collection.


Objectives

The main objectives of the ECOTIC LIFE+ Caravan project were to raise awareness of the environmental issues surrounding the manufacture and use of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), the handling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and its treatment and recovery, including reuse and recycling. The project also aimed to promote green energy targeting in particular, households and schoolchildren in Romania. The project aimed to engage all relevant stakeholders in a joint effort to tackle the issue at national, regional and local level.

An awareness campaign would highlight the risks posed by WEEE on both the environment and on human health, if it is not properly managed, treated and recovered. Separate collection and the sorting and treatment of WEEE would be encouraged as a precondition for further actions in effective WEEE management.

The campaign focused on raising awareness and providing information about:

  • Hazardous substances in WEEE;
  • Recycling of electronic devices;
  • Electronic equipment that is potentially the most harmful to the environment and human health;
  • Location of collection facilities; and
  • Further treatment and recovery of e-waste.


Results

The ECOTIC LIFE+ Caravan project was very successful. It had a direct impact in raising awareness about WEEE in Romania, which has indirectly led to higher collection rates in the country. In turn, this means that less hazardous materials pollute the environment and more material is recovered/ recycled.

There were three main target groups – schoolchildren and teachers; households and the general public; and local authorities – all of whom were successfully reached in higher than expected numbers.

At the heart of the project’s information campaign was the ‘ECOTIC Caravan’ a vehicle bought second-hand, and adapted to serve as a mobile showroom (with the capacity of an average school class-room). This mobile exhibition – a novelty in Romania – was fitted out to showcase 10 examples of dismantled, typical electronic devices, such as a washing-machine and mobile phone. The interior provided information and helped raise awareness on environmental hazards associated with WEEE and on recycling and reuse possibilities. Tablets were also available for visitors (usually schoolchildren) to play a special ‘WEEE game’ developed during the project.

With the overall aim of increasing knowledge about the correct handling of WEEE, its treatment and recovery; and to promote green energy for households and schoolchildren, the caravan travelled across the country, visiting a total of 206 schools under the title "Eco days in your school". As well as these visits, it stopped-over at selected towns for periods of 2-3 days carrying out local campaigns (‘Recycling days in your city’) targeting the local population. Various other educational and publicity-raising activities were also carried out. These included: presentations on WEEE, its collection, reuse and recovery. Games and competitions e.g. raffles were also organised, to highlight the project’s aims. The project surpassed most objectives. At the end, it had generated more interest among schools – pupils and their teachers – than originally expected e.g. 206 schools were visited, compared with the forecast 150. Similarly, almost 85 000 pupils visited the caravan exhibition, participating in 765 eco-activities. This was higher 10 000 than predicted.

Meanwhile, at the public places visited, 36 000 visitors received information about the project, compared with the expected figure of 20 000. And at 54 additional stops, at the car-parks of large retail stores, a further 33 000 visitors received information. Media attention was also higher than expected (i.e. there were 286 media mentions, compared with an expected 150). The website was another key dissemination tool - receiving 15 000 visits during the project period, almost double the expected number. Moreover, the project organised 10 local authority workshops, attracting a total of 265 participants, and organised four conferences. Here too, expected numbers of participants were higher than estimated in the project proposal.

Finally, the project’s demonstration value was, and remains, very high, as the exhibition as well as the presentations for different target groups have been very well received. By opting for a mobile exhibition, the project was able to assemble a large and steady stream of attendees. The beneficiary is confident the idea can easily be replicated in other countries. Importantly, most of the project activities are continuing in the after-LIE period, including the use of the caravan as an awareness raising tool, continued school campaigns, and continuation of general dissemination and networking activities. The project actions reflect EU waste recovery and reuse legislation, in particular the newer WEEE Directive with a collection target of 40% of electrical and electronic equipment.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Information - Governance - Awareness raising - Information
Waste - Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)


Keywords

public awareness campaign‚  waste collection‚  electrical industry‚  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 ASOCIATIA ECOTIC
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The ECOTIC association was set up in April 2006 under the European Community Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive 2002/96/EC and under the Romanian Government Decision no. 448/2005 to take over the responsibilities of producers and importers in the field of electric and electronic equipment collection and recycling. ECOTIC relies on the collection of WEEE from municipal collection points and from collection infrastructure of retailers. The association has 144 members and more than 600 affiliated producers.
Partners None

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Project reference LIFE13 INF/RO/000090
Duration 02-JUN-2014 to 02-JUN -2016
Total budget 361,321.00 €
EU contribution 159,711.00 €
Project location Bucureşti-Ilfov(Romania)

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Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Publication Layman report
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report
Slides Presentation "Research Report - WEEE & WBA Survey: Atitudes & H ...
Video link Links to the project's videos on Youtube

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