The EU has set new targets for the recycling of e-waste, but at least one recycling company believes they are still just not good enough. At the moment, the EU Environment Council has set collection quotas of four kilograms of electrical and electronic waste, including old cell phones, per person, but is now looking to change those quotas to a percentage of how much electrical equipment is sold instead. The initial hope was around sixty-five percent but member states such as the United Kingdom have succeeded in having that percentage reduced to just forty-five percent instead, something that just is not good enough according to the recycling charity known as Computer Aid.
“We are frustrated that the European Council is taking such a ‘softly, softly’ approach in addressing the looming e-waste crisis,” the group’s advocacy officer Haley Bowcock says. As well as the reduced percentage target, Computer Aid is also dismayed that the EU still does not separate computers, which are reused from their recycling numbers, since the organization believes such items are better off being refurbished and reused rather than stripped down and recycled straight away. “Because the re-use target is not separated from the target for recycling, this is likely to mean that recycling gets favored over reuse in practice, because current infrastructure is geared towards this management method,” Bowcock points out. “It is clear that we need to go much further when setting targets for e-waste recovery in order to reap the superior benefits of reuse over recycling.”