Circular Economy

Enough recyclable material to make 70 Eiffel towers: this represents the resources we gain when recycling electrical appliances

The only way for recyclable material to find its way into the eRecycling cycle is for us to dispose of our old electrical appliances properly. And that’s extremely beneficial to the environment! How much iron, aluminium and even gold has been collected in the last 30 years?

A broken toaster, a defective lamp or a worn-out alarm clock: we will all own defective or worn-out electrical appliances at some point. To be precise, Swiss people collect around 16 kg of them per capita – every year. But what should we do with them? Don’t put them in the household waste! By doing so, you prevent reusable materials from your old appliance from being returned to the recycling system. To ensure that the raw materials can be used for eRecycling, it is important that you dispose of your discarded devices properly at a collection point. Even as an individual, you can make a big difference!

In Switzerland, 1.2 million tonnes of electrical appliances have been collected over the past 30 years. As a rule, as much as 70 percent of the materials contained in them are reusable. Among them are iron, aluminium, copper and even gold. If you add up the recyclable materials recovered over the past three decades, the figures are impressive. The total iron and steel amounts to over 708,000 tonnes – the equivalent of 70.8 Eiffel towers. During this period, Switzerland collected over 35 million kg of aluminium, which is equal to 2.34 million bicycles. The recovered copper would be enough for 40,288,000 trumpets, and the 161 kg of gold collected could be turned into 13 gold bars.

Do you want to save resources but are unsure about where and how to dispose of your electrical and electronic equipment properly? Thanks to the advance recycling fee, you can return them free of charge to specialist stores that stock similar products. It doesn’t matter whether or not you bought the appliance there, or if you plan to buy a new one in that particular shop. You can also dispose of your e-waste at a SENS collection point. You can find a list of collection points near you here.