The Swedish Government has set the stage for compulsory pretreatment of electric and electronic goods and now awaits on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations (see European related story). The Ordance on Producer Responsibility has been written, as has the portion of the Waste Disposal and Collection Act concerning electric and electronic waste recycling.

“The most crucial thing is the time needed for companies to become certified as recyclers,” Sara Stenhammar of the Swedish EPA told edie. The EPA’s proposed regulations are out to consultation until 3 November and Stenhammar estimated that the earliest date for the introduction of a ban on electric and electronic waste going to landfill, incineration or shredding without first undergoing certified pretreatment is 1 January 2001.

The EPA’s proposed regulations defines a producer as a manufacturer, importer or distributor of electric and electronic equipment and sets out the following obligations:

  • take back free of charge old equipment when the customer buys new equipment
  • inform households and others about the producers’ take back obligation
  • willingness to present and discuss take back scheme with municipalities
  • treat waste in an environmentally-sound manner
  • inform recyclers of product contents in order to facilitate recycling
  • provide all necessary information to the EPA as regards compliance with the regulations

The EPA has proposed that the following electric and electronic product groups be included under the regulations:

  • household products, tools, garden equipment
  • IT and office equipment
  • telecommunications equipment
  • TV, audio and video equipment
  • cameras and photo equipment
  • clocks and watches
  • games and toys
  • lightning equipment
  • medical equipment
  • laboratory equipment

Refrigerators and freezers have been excluded because a municipality responsibility already exists for these products.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie