So you don't get left behind when eRecycling:
Does an online retailer have to take back broken electrical equipment?

Disposing of old hoovers, coffee machines, razors, wall clocks or torches is very easy in Switzerland. You can take your electrical waste to one of the 600 SENS collection points or hand it in at a specialist shop that sells appliances of a similar type - regardless of whether you actually bought the equipment there.

But what about electrical and electronic equipment that you bought on the Internet? Are online retailers also obliged to take back broken appliances?

This is a legitimate question. Not all products you can buy in Switzerland from online retailers include the advanced recycling fee (ARF) in the price. This is a problem because the entire SENS take-back system is completely financed by the ARF. The ARF is the only way to ensure that you don't have to pay anything extra when you dispose of your e-waste. 

The collection points and sales outlets have to take back the equipment - that is the law - but they are allowed to charge you for recycling if no ARF has been levied on the electrical equipment. 

For the take-back system as a whole, it becomes problematic if too many appliances have to be taken back without ARF. The SENS take-back system depends on the voluntary participation of as many manufacturers, importers and traders as possible and aims to ensure that all market participants can operate on an equal footing. This can only work if there are not too many free riders. 

Fortunately, there is great solidarity among online retailers in Switzerland. All large and very many small online traders have voluntarily joined the SENS network. We recommend that you only order products online from traders who support the SENS take-back system.

Only one thing remains to be clarified: Do online retailers now have to accept discarded electrical items? Yes, they have to! The take-back obligation applies even if you did not buy the appliance to be disposed of in the corresponding online shop. If the online retailer does not charge ARF in the price of its products, it must take care of the subsequent disposal individually and does not benefit from the numerous services of the SENS take-back system.

And if you are now wondering how this is supposed to work at all, returning broken electrical equipment to an online retailer: In principle, you can give them to the carrier - regardless of whether it's the Swiss POST, DPD, UPS or another delivery service - when new appliances are delivered to you. In practice, no one does this, but you have the right to do so.

Are you interested in finding out which retailers are members of the SENS take-back system? 
You can find an overview here.