Safe handling

El-Kretsen’s system puts an end to illegal exportation and makes sure resources are used to their full potential.

Our business focus is the environment. By recycling electrical and electronic waste, we prevent hazardous waste and plastics from ending up in nature at the same time as we bring about new raw materials. This system saves energy as well as natural resources. Sweden is a recycling world-leader, but the handling of WEEE differs widely across the world. For this reason, we’ve made securing our own flows and stopping illegal exportation one of our main focus areas.

Safe and secure flows

According to a study from the UN (unido.org), some 40 million tonnes of WEEE is generated every year, where the EU is responsible for 12 million tonnes. Sweden and El-Kretsen handle around 150,000 tonnes, which constitutes about 0.4 percent of the planet’s annual WEEE. There are considerable global differences in WEEE handling, and this is why at El-Kretsen we maintain a focus on securing our own flows. The collected waste also has to reach our contracted recyclers so that the recycling process runs according to the guide lines and follows the requirements we have set up. All El-Kretsen’s collection receptacles have ID tags which are registered upon collection and return. Once the material has been delivered, it is weighed so that it can later be related to the recyclers’ reports on the amount of WEEE they have treated, and how.

Preventing illegal exportation

The police in Sweden are working alongside Interpol to map out and prevent illegal exportation of WEEE. It has been estimated that 1.3 million tonnes of WEEE disappears from the EU every year. Even if the volumes attributable to Sweden do not make us a main player in this, we are nevertheless very interested in how we handle producer responsibility and recycling. One positive result of this is the many international study visits made where the Swedish process is often referred to as “best practise”. We are very happy to share our knowledge, and at the same time, our business is rewarded with new input and ideas from all over the world.

The system works

Our collection system is safe, smart and sustainable. We place batteries and WEEE from the collection points in cages or containers with ID tags. When the WEEE is picked up by the carrier, the bar code on the ID tag is registered. This enables us to track each cage from the time of collection until it gets to the recycling site where it is weighed.

Once the materials have been treated, we receive information about what happens to them – what is forwarded for recycling and what is sold on as new assets and what is removed from the recycling cycle. This “receipt” shows that the system works and that together, we’ve done something really useful for the environment.