From us for you

Working in sync with responsible ARF partners (manufacturers, retailers and importers) and specialist waste disposal partners is crucial to the success of the SENS take-back system. Let us give you some insights into what we have achieved together.

Andreas Röthlisberger
President of the SENS Foundation

Foreword by the Foundation President

30 years of SENS eRecycling

In 2019, eRecycling was shaped by politics. Should it be completely obligatory? Partially obligatory? Or not obligatory at all? Where do we go from here? How and with whom? These questions dominated discussions and were frequently the subject of heated debates. But when we try to see the bigger picture and look beyond the political machinations, we see that the world keeps on turning and nothing stays still. For SENS eRecycling, it is quite the opposite: new recycling performance records are being hit all the time.

Last year, we celebrated our 30th anniversary. We were the first organisation in Europe to implement manufacturer responsibility (for manufacturers, importers and retailers), ensuring that products that have become waste are disposed of in the best possible way and that they can be reintroduced into the cycle – nota bene: on a voluntary basis – in compliance with the relevant environmental regulations. From the outset, we have been pioneers in returning used electrical and electronic appliances.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped make our success possible over the last 30 years:

  • The recycling companies, who with their expertise and innovation, together with the transporters ensure the return of the highest amount of used electronics and electrical appliances in Europe every year via more than 600 collection points and many thousands of retailer return points.
  • The manufacturers, importers and retailers who entrust us with implementing manufacturer responsibility.
  • The federal, cantonal and local authorities who put their trust in us.
  • And last but not least, the consumers who bring their decommissioned appliances to the right collection point and comply with waste separation rules.

The future of the take-back system that has been politically set in motion in Switzerland is yet to be determined. For me and for SENS eRecycling, the top priority is and will remain protecting the environment, which also entails implementing recycling efficiently according to the principles of sustainability, including in the private sector. We are working hard to make this a reality and we want to continue to hold the top recycling spot for another (30?) years with your cooperation. Now that’s something to get excited about!

Andreas Röthlisberger

One more thing: At the start of the year (in the time before the coronavirus crisis), we commissioned a five-episode documentary film. It tells of the power of innovative ideas – and the efficiency of solutions that are based on the principle of voluntary participation and taking personal economic responsibility.

Want to see the trailer? Click here to watch the trailer.

Heidi Luck – Geschäftsführerin SENS eRecycling
Heidi Luck
Managing Director

Foreword by the Managing Director

“Normally ...”

When writing the foreword, I would normally be sitting in my office and reflecting on the year gone by. I enjoy this opportunity to speak to you directly about the highlights of the past year and to share some recent experiences at SENS with you. But nothing about right now can be described as normal.

This should not be taken as a lament about the current situation. We all have our daily obstacles to overcome, but for us, when we dig deeper, we see that these challenges also spur us on. They make us more inventive and show us just how important our partnerships are. The figures and reports for the last financial year clearly reflect this.

In cooperation with Swiss Post, we have developed a pilot project for collecting electronic waste from the household parcel box. A letter was sent with a collection bag enclosed and our Junkopus asked children in the test region to dispose of their old electric toys in a collection bag in their own parcel box. The number of returns far exceeded the target and the quality of the collected goods was very good, with only 1 per cent impurities. Consistently positive feedback was also received from a variety of people from the test region. We were able to recruit numerous families to the eRecycling cause by giving away a keyring and by awarding the title of Recycling Hero. We made recycling fun – and since this pilot project was such a success, we are continuing it and expanding it to a larger test region.

I was particularly pleased by the many projects we have under way in cooperation with our customers and partners. Thanks to these partnerships, we attended two trade fairs (BEL.CH and FEA-EXPO) and we were able to demonstrate the valuable contribution that the SENS take-back system can make through our contractual partners. At the Wiederkehr Recycling AG open day, we had the opportunity to explain eRecycling to the general public and help raise their awareness of it.

The stellar reputation of Switzerland’s recycling systems reaches far beyond our borders. We have hit recycling quotas that other European countries can only dream of. The WEEE Forum is the world’s largest international centre of competence for the management of electronic waste. In May 2019, Switzerland hosted the General Assembly of the WEEE Forum and impressed guests from across Europe with a visit to Europe’s leading refrigerator recycler, Oeko-Service Schweiz AG in Rheinfelden.

Even now, when we have to keep our distance physically speaking, we have the opportunity to draw closer together and support each other. Thanks to its solid foundation of cooperation, the SENS take-back system is continuing to run. eRecycling is still working and proper disposal is guaranteed. Things are almost exactly the same as “normal”, just with a few small differences. Although the protection of the environment is not heavily featured in the headlines at the moment, it is still what we strive for, and what we will continue to strive for in the future.

With warm regards
Heidi Luck

Spring clean

Junkopus explains

Spring means spring cleaning. We decided to use this as an opportunity to raise public awareness about how to dispose of used electrical or electronic appliances correctly. Through a social media campaign, Junkopus explained how the eRecycling cycle works and what recyclable materials are hidden within electronic waste.

The people of Switzerland were always finding broken electrical or electronic appliances in their home, especially during spring cleaning. So Junkopus explained what to do with the used appliances and what recyclable materials were hidden within them through two short videos that were posted on the social media channels Instagram and Facebook. 

We placed various advertisements on online media in order to specifically target our key target group – young adults. Through Real Time Bidding (RTB), placement of ads on Facebook and Instagram and video advertising on YouTube and the Goldbach video network, we were able to gain very good access to our target audience. The response to this completely digital campaign was excellent. Compared with the previous month, visits to our website were up by more than 470 per cent. In addition, display advertising also achieved excellent results with 2 million impressions. These figures demonstrate that the younger generation is also interested in eRecycling.

During the campaign, members of the public were offered the chance to take part in a competition on our Facebook channel. They were asked to tell us why they wanted to do a spring clean. There were some very creative, funny and uplifting stories among the 479 entries. We randomly selected two entries to win a spring clean voucher with a value of CHF 500.00. This competition was another good example of high levels of interest in eRecycling.


Key objective
To inform the younger target group about correct, environmentally friendly recycling

An online campaign with ad placements via RTB, on YouTube, on the Goldbach video network and on our social media channels on Instagram and Facebook

124,427 reached on social media as well as 290,430 impressions
1,963,706 impressions via display advertising
6,599 visits to our website with 479 competition entries
473 per cent more users on our website compared to the previous month

A campaign that successfully reached the target audience – social media works for eRecycling

A sustainable Christmas

Committing to professional recycling

Christmas is a time when electrical or electronic appliances sell like hot cakes – and many of them are purchased abroad or from online retailers based abroad. When this happens, the advance recycling fee (ARF) is usually not collected. This is why our social media activities towards the end of the year were focused on raising awareness about Fair ARF. It makes paying the ARF really easy.

Many people in Switzerland are not aware that buying electrical or electronic appliances abroad or from online retailers based abroad leaves a gap in terms of funding their disposal because the ARF is not collected. Three animations posted on Instagram and Facebook explained how the SENS eRecycling cycle works and showed viewers how they could pay the ARF retroactively. The campaign had a very good reach with almost 4 million views and a high level of advertising pressure. The click rate was moderate at 0.29 per cent. Since this campaign did not involve a competition, this was to be expected. However, overall, there were 500 registered visits to the landing page. The figures show that the target audience was reached and that the level of interest in eRecycling is high. A mix of RTB, social media and video channels such as YouTube was found to be what works.


Key objective
To explain correct, environmentally friendly recycling and raise awareness about voluntary ARF (bilingually in German and French)

An online campaign with ad placements via RTB, on YouTube, and on our social media channels on Instagram and Facebook

620,601 impressions on Facebook, 1,113 clicks (click rate 0.18 per cent)
2,658,538 RTB ad placements. 8,219 clicks (click rate 0.31 per cent)
694,099 impressions on YouTube, 2,139 clicks (click rate 0.31 per cent)

The option of paying the ARF retroactively by text message has proven successful – we are reaching a large portion of the key target audience via social media

Voluntary ARF

Closing the gap together

When electrical or electronic appliances are purchased abroad, the ARF is not collected. However, the ARF is easy to pay retroactively from home. This allows these appliances to be disposed of correctly. End consumers were made aware of this on our social media channels in 2019 as before.

On our social media channels on Instagram and Facebook, we informed the public about voluntary ARF and raised awareness about it. We highlighted how simple it is to pay the ARF retroactively: a simple text message to the number 488 saying “vRG” (the German term for ARF) is all that is required to arrange fair, correct and environmentally friendly disposal of an electrical or electronic appliance. The ARF can also be paid on our website. Payment can be made by PostFinance, e-finance, Visa, Mastercard, Twint or a traditional payment slip. This ensures that everyone has a way to pay that suits them.

In 2019, we successfully increased the number of retroactive ARF payments compared to the previous year.


Key objective
To raise public awareness and present the retroactive payment of the ARF via text message as a simple and smart solution

Social media campaign, option to pay the ARF retroactively by text message and on our website

82,720 impressions on Facebook alone

There is still room for improvement in terms of use of the option to pay by text message but the trend is increasing


SENS eRecycling supported its ARF partners at this exhibition by providing exciting insights into the disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment

This year, the FEA-EXPO took place at its new location at Messe Luzern for the first time. Around three dozen exhibitors demonstrated their latest small appliances there from 17 to 20 March 2019. SENS eRecycling was also there with its own stand as a guest exhibitor.

At this trade fair organised by the Swiss Professional Association for Electrical Appliances in Household and Industry (FEA), FEA members present their latest products. SENS eRecycling was there as a guest exhibitor. We used display cases to show what important raw materials are hidden within electrical or electronic appliances and how the eRecycling cycle works. This display often made an impression that opened the door to interesting discussions and sharing of information with manufacturers, retailers and purchasers. We were also able to highlight the valuable contribution that our FEA partners make to supporting eRecycling. Raw materials obtained from the recycling of electrical or electronic appliances were also used as an eye-catching highlight at the stand with photos of beautifully presented secondary raw materials obtained from recycling.


Key objective
To exchange information with manufacturers and raise awareness about eRecycling

Own stand, display case with raw materials, discussions with manufacturers, handing out informational materials and promotional giveaway items

Four-day exhibition, 22 exhibitors and over a dozen guest exhibitors

Successful event participation and numerous conversations with manufacturers. Since the FEA-EXPO 2020 has been cancelled due to COVID-19, we are looking forward to taking part again in 2021.

"Many were shocked at just how much raw material was hidden within a decommissioned welding device."

BLEe.CH 2019

There at the start of something great

BLE.CH is the technology trade fair for chip-free metal and steel processing in Switzerland. It was held for the first time from 5 to 7 March 2019. SENS eRecycling was invited by Swissmem’s specialist group for welding and cutting technology and ran a stand together with them.

This first edition of the trade fair was very well attended and it took place at the BERNEXPO site. As an organiser of recycling for welding and cutting devices, SENS eRecycling has a responsibility to ensure that they are disposed of professionally and in an environmentally friendly manner. BLE.CH was therefore the ideal platform for us to get together with the manufacturers and suppliers of these devices and have a discussion with them. At the stand we ran together with Swissmem’s specialist group for welding and cutting technology, SENS eRecycling used this opportunity to demonstrate the SENS eRecycling cycle to interested visitors. 

Visitors to our stand got an insight into the SENS eRecycling cycle. There was plenty of time and opportunity for discussions. Again and again, people’s focus came back to the recyclable materials obtained from the recycling process displayed in the display case. Many were shocked at just how much raw material was hidden within a decommissioned welding device. The advantages for us were not only the many stimulating conversations we had with trade fair visitors, but also the fact that we strengthened and reinforced our cooperation with Swissmem. This trade fair was a complete success for us, so we are looking forward to taking part again at the second one in 2021.


Key objective
To exchange views with the members of the specialist group and increase awareness about eRecycling

A stand in cooperation with Swissmem’s specialist group for welding and cutting technology, display case with raw materials, discussions with manufacturers, handing out informational materials and promotional giveaway items

Three-day exhibition, over 5,000 visitors from all language regions of Switzerland, over 96 per cent of trade fair visitors were satisfied

Successful event participation and rich, stimulating and instructive discussions with members of the specialist group and the public. We are delighted that we will also be there with a stand in 2021.

Jumbo’s spring energy-saving lamp offer

Saving electricity together

SENS eRecycling supported this special spring offer by DIY store Jumbo from 16 to 30 March 2019 as its disposal partner. Disused lighting equipment was collected as part of energyday19.

As a SENS eRecycling partner, the DIY store Jumbo ensured that any old electrical or electronic appliances and lighting equipment that were returned to them as part of the take-back system were disposed of professionally and in an environmentally friendly manner. As part of their special spring offer, the first 2,000 customers were able to exchange their old lighting equipment for a RGBW-LED CONNECT bulb from EGLO, worth CHF 49.90. It was a swap that gave twice the value. A modern LED bulb not only allows you to control the lighting colour via an app, it also saves electricity. This cooperation with DIY store Jumbo not only allowed us to make an important contribution to energy saving, but also allowed us to inform the public about the SENS eRecycling cycle.


Key objective
To increase awareness about eRecycling and energy saving

A collection and exchange promotion in cooperation with the DIY store Jumbo

2,000 customers were able to exchange their old lighting equipment for new

The new bulbs went quickly and there was a great deal of interest in eRecycling and in professional, environmentally friendly disposal of lighting equipment. The promotion was a great success with pleasing results.

Open day

A successful day at Wiederkehr Recycling AG’s event

On 26 October 2019, our recycling partner Wiederkehr Recycling AG celebrated their 60th anniversary. At their open day, we had the opportunity to get together with the public and show them the benefits of eRecycling at our stand.

Wiederkehr Recycling AG is one of our disposal partners that is specialised in recycling scrap metal. At their site in Waltenschwil in the Canton of Aargau – surrounded by mountains of waste metal – we were able to give interested visitors an insight into the world of electronic waste recycling as part of this well-attended open day. Our informational brochure “Five myths about electronic waste – and the whole truth” left many astounded and successfully debunked stubborn myths that were prevalent among the Freiamt population. Our comic, “Lila and Tim and the invisible mountains” was also very well received by the younger audience.

The event was a great opportunity to say a big thank you to the public – which we did with chocolate. After all, the SENS eRecycling cycle would not work without the active support of the Swiss public. This is precisely why we like to use such events as an opportunity to get together with the public and talk to them about eRecycling. We would like to thank Wiederkehr Recycling AG for this great opportunity and we wish them every success!


Key objective
To inform the public about eRecycling

Stand at the open day, conversations with visitors, handing out informational materials and promotional giveaway items

Approximately 5,000 visitors

A very well-attended and successful open day