One against zero: ecological island in the shop for WEEE

Ecological island in the shop if you need to dispose of a WEEE. Yes, on April 12 the new legislation on electronic waste finally came into force, which simplifies the life of consumers and helps to combat the phenomenon of illegal landfills.

What changes? The novelty is the introduction of the One against Zero principle for small WEEE in stores with a sales surface greater than 400 square meters. This means that medium and large shops (400 sq m and over) are obliged to provide a space or a bin used as a ecological island where customers can leave small household appliances without any obligation to purchase. One against zero, in fact.

The collection of the mobile phone, the clock radio, the toaster or the broken hairdryer is no longer a favor that the shopkeeper does to the customer who buys a new item, but a legal duty. It is then the shop / ecological island to contend with producers, who are not exempt from the problem of the end of life of products placed on the market.

Consumer front, don't be forced to travel miles to find one island ecology equipped - hoping that it will be regular - is certainly a great advantage and alleviates the temptation to take advantage of ditches and groves to get rid of electronic waste. And it also avoids feeding illicit electronic waste trafficking. The environment is grateful and the goal set by the legislation - going from 4 kg to 12 kg per capita of WEEE collected in the next two years - becomes more achievable.

How shopkeepers are facing the obligation to set up one ecological island in the store? One solution that is taking hold is that of the so-called intelligent bins. Can a dumpster be smart? Probably not, but it can be completely automated so as not to require the presence of an operator with a consequent increase in costs.

A model of ecological island for a shop of this type, made up of intelligent bins, the Ecolight consortium is proposing it in collaboration with the Hera Group in Emilia Romagna and in the Padua area. First a phase of experimentation then, if necessary, the final adoption.

The consumer can access the bin - ecological island identifying himself with the health card or, where it is distributed, with the Hera card. After indicating what you want to give, the bin automatically opens a door where you can put the waste. There is no need for assistance.

Obviously in this type of ecological island only small WEEE can be disposed of, for example mobile phones and small household appliances. But also energy saving light bulbs and common portable batteries.

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