The number of e-Waste collection points will increase from 128 to 200, thanks to the new project dedicated to e-waste management, which was launched today, 18 March 2021, on Global Recycling Day. The collection points will be created in Chisinau and other localities in the country.
The project “Recycle e-waste, achieve the SDGs” is implemented by the NGO EcoDigital with the financial support of the GEF Small Grants Programme, implemented by UNDP Moldova, in partnership with the NGO Association for Waste Recovery, the Ecology College, MoldRec and EcoRecycling. This initiative continues the project “Clean city with recycled e-Waste”, implemented in the period 2018-2020 by the NGO Association for Waste Recovery.
“All the products we use become waste, but the situation is worse when electrical and electronic equipment become waste, because e-Waste includes hazardous materials and chemicals that pose environmental and health risks. Many are not aware that they are so dangerous,” said Roman Bahnaru, the president of NGO EcoDigital and manager of the project.
Furthermore, the first laboratory class on electrical and electronic equipment waste will be arranged within the College of Ecology, which will be equipped with various samples, which will allow to study and visualize in detail the types of materials of which they are composed (plastic, metal, glass, electronics, etc.). This will help to promote the principle of repair, which contributes to extend equipment life.
Annually approximately 10 thousand tons of the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are generated in the Republic of Moldova, and according to the "Study on the generation and management of e-waste in the Chisinau", in the top of used electrical and electronic equipment are: mobile phones (91%), refrigerators (90%) and washing machines (85%) – in household, while legal entities make better use of computers (93%), printers (81%), mobile phones (74%), landlines telephone (69%) air conditioners (67%). If the mobile phone is the equipment with the shortest period of use (3 years on average), at the opposite pole is the landline phone, which can also be used for more than a decade.
According to the same study, the biggest obstacles to collection of e-Waste are insufficient information on collection and recycling and insufficient infrastructure for the collection of such waste. All taken together, more recently amplified in the long term by the consequences of the pandemic and the increase in the quantities of electrical and electronic equipment purchased in the last year, bring an enormous burden on the environment – if of course not managed sustainably.
During the implementation of the project “Clean city with recycled e-Waste” in 2018 -2020, it was possible to place 128 specialized dumpsters inside 115 institutions from the private, public, academic, and civil society sectors. In total, more than 70 thousand students and teachers were involved, who are aware about the risks of e-Waste on the environment and health and have specialized dumpsters for their collection. In total, over 50 tons of e-Waste were collected, systematically taken over upon request by the authorized operator.