Home appliances, 68,000 tons of raw materials recovered with recycling

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2015 report by Ecodom, the main consortium in charge of the disposal of end-of-life fridges, washing machines, dishwashers.

Fridges, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens and stove hoods came back to new life thanks to recycling, generating over 68 thousand tons of raw materials such as iron, copper, plastic and aluminium. These materials were reintegrated in the production cycle with considerable benefits for the environment (over 810,000 tons of CO2 were saved) and energy savings (the equivalent of over 321,000 GJ). Such were the performances of Ecodom, the main Italian consortium in charge of the disposal of end-of-life home appliances, in 2015.

Exactly 78,265 tons of WEEE (Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment) were treated by the consortium during last year. This activity allowed the recycling of 68,715 tons of secondary raw materials, among which 47,076 tons of iron (the equivalent of six Eiffel Towers); 1,657 tons of aluminium (the equivalent of 103.5 million cans); over 1,489 tons of copper (the equivalent of 16 Statues of Liberty) and 8,000 tons of plastic (enough to produce 3.2 billion garden chairs).

“2015 was a difficult year for the WEEE sector for two main reasons – comments Giorgio Arienti, Ecodom’s General Director – first, several implementing decrees necessary to ensure the correct functioning of the WEEE system were not implemented, at a distance of two years from the coming into force of the Legislative Decree 49/2014. Second, the sudden dramatic fall of the price of raw materials (in particular iron, and also plastic) heavily damaged the recycling sector.” Arienti adds: “Nevertheless, our consortium achieved great results and in 2015 too we ensured the achievement of the environmental excellence and energy efficiency targets set forth by our mission. WEEE recycling is crucial not only because of the value of the secondary raw materials deriving from it, but also because it enables the reduction of the environmental impact caused by the emission in the atmosphere of the polluting agents contained in the WEEE. Moreover, it allows to save on the “energy costs” of the extraction of primary raw materials”. In 2015, Ecodom’s virtuous WEEE management allowed to avoid the emission of 810,469 tons of CO2, the equivalent of the carbon dioxide that could be absorbed in one year by a forest as large as the province of Lecco (810 sq Km). 321,500 GJ of electric energy were also saved, which equates to the yearly energy consumption of a city with 75,000 inhabitants.

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