Making progress together

Keep looking forward – that is what we strive to do every day. Working together with our partners, we attempt to make a difference and accomplish a number of achievements – be it with end customers or even on the international stage.


Special compensation for small appliances and refrigerators

Challenges for our recycling partners selling metals and plastics

Last year our recycling partners were faced with the challenge of a collapse in metal purchase prices. They also had to contend with the continuing problems in plastics sales. The indices used in the remuneration model (BDSV, LME) were only partially able to compensate for these changes. Together with our recycling partners, SENS eRecycling analysed the situation and came up with a countermeasure. The difficult situation that recycling partners were facing was eased by special compensation for small appliances and refrigerators amounting to CHF 1.1 million.

The collapse in metal prices last year was not only a major challenge for our recycling partners, but also for the entire European recycling industry. Ample supplies from the aluminium and copper smelters led to a significant reduction in prices of secondary metals. The increased deductions for aluminium and copper in particular have caused problems for recycling companies. Because the indices (BDSV, LME) in the remuneration model are based on primary metals, they do not reflect the deductions. This meant that the price changes were not included in the remuneration models for the take-back systems. Plastics sales were another thorny issue. The price pressure on plastics from waste electrical and electronic equipment has increased again and revenues have halved in some cases compared to previous years. 

A working group set up by SENS eRecycling worked to address this extraordinary situation. The working group consisted of recycling partners, representatives of the SENS Foundation and an independent consultant. It collected facts, analysed data and promptly drew up a proposal for the Finance Committee. The analysis showed that the 50 per cent buffer contained within the remuneration model already partially covers the increase in deductions for metals and that the price change for plastics is not currently taken into account. Using the market data collected, the working group determined that small appliances and refrigerators were the categories most affected by the plastics sales problem. 

In April, the Board of Trustees approved the working group’s proposal on the recommendation of the Finance Committee. Special compensation of CHF 30.00 per tonne for small appliances and CHF 10.00 per tonne for refrigerators was introduced with retroactive effect from January 2020. Based on the quantities invoiced last year, the total special compensation distributed amounts to around CHF 1.1 million.

Overview

Key objective
To support recycling partners through a time of extraordinary market conditions

Measures
A working group consisting of recycling partners, SENS Foundation representatives and an independent consultant, plus special compensation for plastics in the case of small appliances and refrigerators

Reach
19 recycling partners

Summary
SENS eRecycling was able to provide rapid support to its recycling partners during challenging times

“This allows us to foster our relationship with those responsible for collection points and to better respond to challenges in the collection of electronic waste.”

Collection point meetings

Discussion of challenges in the collection of electronic waste

In 2019, the popular collection point meetings were once again attended by many of the people responsible for collection points. With two venues available, one in Olten and one in Yverdons-les-Bains, participants were able to attend a conveniently located meeting either in German-speaking Switzerland or in French-speaking Romandy.

The collection point meetings are used to discuss current issues surrounding the daily operation of collection points. This allows us to foster our relationship with those responsible for collection points and to better respond to challenges in the collection of electronic waste. One of the key topics that the around 60 participants at Olten touched upon was the high cost of collecting lighting equipment. SENS eRecycling runs the collection of lighting equipment on behalf of the Swiss Lighting Recycling Foundation (SLRS). Another key issue that was frequently mentioned was the handling of lithium-ion batteries. Based on the many conversations that took place, it was clear that those responsible for collection points are aware of the hazards this involves and are prepared to take the necessary measures to ensure that handling of these materials is as risk-free as possible.

Around a dozen people responsible for collection points from Romandy met at Tripôle in Yverdons-les-Bains. The problems here were the same. Handling of lithium-ion batteries and collection of lighting equipment is a challenge here too. SENS eRecycling takes these concerns seriously and is ready to help collection points with any questions they may have. In addition to the opportunity for discussions, there was a chance to visit the impressive STRID collection point in Romandy. Those who came along were given an interesting insight into the plant.

Overview

Key objective
To exchange views with collection points

Measures
Two collection point meetings: one in German-speaking Switzerland and one in Romandy

Reach
Over 60 people from collection points attended the meeting in German-speaking Switzerland and about a dozen attended the one in Romandy

Summary
SENS eRecycling remains an authoritative source of information about recycling of household appliances. We will continue to provide collection point meetings in the future to promote the exchange of ideas between collection points and SENS eRecycling.


Collection points project

Joint project to promote quality

In 2019, SENS eRecycling launched an interesting project aimed at promoting quality in the collection of decommissioned electrical or electronic appliances. The focus was on communal collection points.

High levels of quality in the collection of electrical or electronic appliances make the downstream recycling process easier. It also reduces the amount of impurities in the collected material. SENS eRecycling therefore launched a project to incentivise increasing quality in collection. As part of the project, collection points that delivered particularly high quality would be given significantly higher compensation. SENS eRecycling hoped that this would increase quality in the collection of decommissioned electrical or electronic appliances. We wanted to implement the project in cooperation with the communities running the collection points. In order to monitor the quality of the collections, transportation was organised by SENS Logistics. It was found that for various reasons, higher compensation alone did not motivate people to switch to the new model. 

Nevertheless, SENS eRecycling believes in the project and is developing it further in order to better meet the needs of the collection point operators and to allow new incentives to be put in place. After all, high-quality collection not only makes the downstream recycling process easier, but also reduces the amount of impurities and cuts out unnecessary transport routes. Better collection monitoring can also help minimise risks. This is something that is particularly close to our hearts at SENS eRecycling.

Overview

Key objective
To increase quality in the collection of decommissioned electrical or electronic appliances

Measures
A project in cooperation with the communities running the collection points

Reach
Around a dozen collection points were invited to take part in the project

Summary
SENS eRecycling believes in the project and is developing it further

“Because we guarantee state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly disposal, we fulfil a need for many companies. At the same time, we keep the administration involved in the reporting and payment process simple and minimal.”

Contractual partners in 2019

Pleasing growth in numbers of new contractual partners

The number of ARF partners working with us once again increased significantly in the past year. There were 81 new companies joining forces with SENS eRecycling in 2019, thereby making a real commitment to responsible, professional and environmentally friendly disposal of decommissioned electrical or electronic appliances. These results make us truly proud.

The increase in the number of contractual partners shows that our services are valued and that they keep up with market standards. Because we guarantee state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly disposal, we fulfil a need for many companies. At the same time, we keep the administration involved in the reporting and payment process simple and minimal. We are flexible in response to what our partners need. For instance, partners are free to choose the type and frequency of reports. They are also welcome to work with us in developing the system further – either as a member of the ARF Committee or by submitting feedback to the Head Office. 

We have found that having a direct dialogue with our partners shows us what we are doing well and what we can do better. For this Annual Report, we wanted to give an insight into what starting to work with SENS eRecycling is like for a new partner. To that end, we asked the Managing Director of Beurer Schweiz AG three questions. Our straightforward relationship with our partners is a source of motivation for us every day – thank you!


Three questions for Andrea Maiolo

Managing Director of Beurer Schweiz AG

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Overview

Key objective
To increase the number of ARF partners

Measures
Convincing potential partners of the benefits of joining the SENS system

Reach
81 new contractual partners in 2019

Summary
SENS eRecycling offers a flexible, simple solution for manufacturer and importers to meet their statutory take-back and disposal obligations


ARF Committee

Great news regarding ARF tariffs

Great news for our contractual partners: the ARF Committee and the Board of Trustees have implemented a selective reduction in the advance recycling fee.

The ARF Committee supports the Head Office and oversees the SENS take-back system as a supervising body. The 14 members of the committee include representatives from the sectors involved in the system. They represent the interests of those sectors, particularly in the drawing up and annual review of the official ARF tariff and equipment list. During the 2019 spring session, the positive annual result allowed the committee to consider adjustments to the advance recycling fee. On the basis of proposals from Head Office, they decided to reduce the tariffs in one weight category each for large appliances and refrigerators. The Board of Trustees approved the committee’s proposal. The tariffs came into force on 01.01.2020 and can be viewed in the Tariff and appliance list

We are very pleased about this positive development and we would like to thank our ARF partners for their trust and constructive cooperation. Making progress together – step by step!

Overview

Key objective
To implement tariffs for our ARF partners that keep up with market standards

Measures
Regular checking by the ARF Committee

Reach
All contractual partners for large appliances and refrigerators

Summary
Reduced tariffs in the categories of large appliances and refrigerators

“The board of the WEEE Forum is very selective in choosing places to share expertise. The high number of attendees speaks to the high esteem in which Switzerland is held when it comes to eRecycling.”

WEEE Forum

The association of take-back systems for electrical or electronic appliances visits Basel

The WEEE Forum, which was founded in 2002, counts among its members forty take-back systems from across Europe and other continents. It is the world’s largest centre of competence for the management of electronic waste. For this year’s General Assembly, members came from across the globe to Switzerland. Switzerland’s spring weather, though wonderful, was not the main thing that impressed these illustrious guests – they were even more impressed by a visit to one of the world’s leading refrigerator recycling companies, Oeko-Service Schweiz AG in Rheinfelden.

There, refrigerators are recycled in Europe’s most advanced facility, which not only recovers recyclable materials, but also prevents hazardous emissions. The fact that a small country like Switzerland is setting the bar here on a global level makes us proud – and we are proud to count Oeko-Service Schweiz AG among our disposal partners. The visit to Oeko-Service Schweiz AG kicked off the two-day WEEE Forum event, which was followed by the dinner and networking evening that over fifty guests attended – more than in any of the countries previously. The board of the WEEE Forum is very selective in choosing places to share expertise. The high number of attendees speaks to the high esteem in which Switzerland is held when it comes to eRecycling. 

At the General Assembly, Heidi Luck provided in-depth insights into eRecycling in Switzerland and presented the SENS take-back system with facts and figures. As one of the countries with the highest take-back rates, Switzerland has always had a great global reputation in this area. At the conference, it was decided that the WEEE Forum Conference 2020 would be hosted in Switzerland. The conference initially scheduled to take place in May 2020, but due to the global COVID-19 crisis, it has been postponed until autumn 2020. We are delighted that we will be able to welcome the world to Switzerland once again and we hope that the conference can be held soon.

Overview

Key objective
To strengthen international cooperation and the network

Measures
Two-day General Assembly in Basel with a tour of Europe’s most state-of-the-art refrigerator recycling plant

Reach
40 WEEE Forum members present, resonated positively worldwide

Summary
SENS eRecycling was able to showcase its strengths once again and compare itself to other similar organisations on the international level. As the leading organisation in the field of eRecycling, SENS is actively involved in shaping international events.