Hand over your discarded (small) electronics to the person who delivers your mail. You will be able to do that from now on if it is up to Recupel and bpost. The two companies will trial a new ‘Recupel Retour’ service in six Belgian cities over the next few months. The intention is to then roll it out to the rest of the country. The principle is simple: every time you shop online you can hand the person who delivers your parcel your own parcel of unwanted electronics. In doing so, Recupel is capitalizing on the growing trend for online shopping. It is an extra service for people who are unable or unwilling to use the existing collection points. It is also climate-conscious, as it makes use of journeys that are made anyway.
Tomorrow, Friday 14 October, is International E-Waste Day. The theme of this year’s edition is small electronic appliances. ‘Recycle it all, no matter how small’ is the slogan. Together with the WEEE Forum and the colleagues abroad, Recupel calls on people to hand over their small electronics too. This includes mobile phones, chargers, cables, headphones, smartphones and more, which are often left lying about in a drawer or at the bottom of a cupboard. Or worse: they are just thrown in the bin, which is what 11% of people end up doing sometime, as shown by a recent Recupel survey. And that is a shame, because a lot of valuable raw materials are lost in the incinerator.
A pilot project will start next week in Geel, Mol, Leuven, Anderlecht, Ixelles and Rixensart. Residents in these cities will have the opportunity to hand over small electronic appliances they no longer want when a parcel is delivered. bpost will then ensure it is passed on to Recupel, where everything is sorted and prepared for reuse or recycling.
The residents of the selected municipalities will receive an information leaflet with a shipping label through their letterbox in the near future. It is not complicated: you place the electronics you want to discard in a cardboard box or a bag and affix the shipping label. (Extra shipping labels can be downloaded from recupel.be/retour).
The next time you buy something online, bpost will send you a delivery email. This tells you when you can expect your parcel to be delivered, so you can prepare the parcel containing your discarded small electronic appliances you want to hand over.
Click here to see how to proceed.
Some points to keep in mind:
- You need to properly seal the box containing your electronics. It must not be bigger than 50x30x30cm and it must not weigh more than 30kg. Rest assured there is room for a lot of small electronic appliances. These include: mixers, hairdryers, shavers, laptops, smartphones, headphones, pocket torches, drills, earbuds and chargers.
- What cannot be accepted? Large appliances like fridges, microwave ovens and dryers. You can take these to the recycling park if they no longer work or to a recycle shop if they do.
- Remove any batteries. You can hand these in to (the colleagues at) Bebat.
- Need more shipping labels? Download them at recupel.be/retour.
Eric De Waet, CEO de Recupel : “Anyone opening a cupboard in their home or garage comes across a lot of unused electronic devices. They are often broken or for some reason no longer needed. They don’t get any better as time goes by. So it’s a shame to leave them lying about. You can help others with them if they are still useable. Or have them recycled and the raw materials recovered if they are broken. A lot of people already bring their appliances to our collection points. But just as often people don’t. That’s why we want to make it even easier for them, by offering an extra pick-up service, Recupel Retour."
Chris Vansnick, Director Group Sustainability bpost : "The project with Recupel fits in perfectly with our renewed sustainability strategy. bpost wants to be a leading player in e-commerce logistics in terms of sustainability. One of our priorities is working on waste and recycling in the e-commerce chain. We have a unique role to play in the circular economy, with bpost’s dense network and 10,000-strong delivery staff, who drive along every street in Belgium every day.”
For all complementary information:
Recupel: Stijn Ombelets - spokesperson - Mobile: +32 (0)477 50 29 29 - Mail: [email protected]