Reusing a computer is up to 20 times more energy efficient than recycling it. Every year around 1 million tons of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are generated in Spain. Most of these wastes are recycled or burned, despite the fact that 33% of the electronic devices that are collected and intended for recycling in our country are suitable for reuse, according to Back Market calculations, based on the last data published by the European Commission on this matter.
Sources from this company, the first specializing in the reuse of technological products in Spain, estimate that each year the production of about 250,000 tons of WEEE could be avoided in our territory, from devices that could continue to be used until the end of their useful life instead of recycling them. This would save an average of more than 5 kg of electronic scrap for each Spaniard, the company explains in a statement.
“With proper treatment, we could reuse between 70% and 90% of the electronic waste we generate,” said Thibaud de Larauze, CEO of Back Market. According to the rule of “the 4 Rs of ecology”, reuse of electronic devices is a better solution than recycling them, since it involves a lower consumption of resources and energy, reduces the volume of electronic waste and does not need to recycle as much, the company adds.
Reusing a computer is up to 20 times more efficient
“Reusing a computer is up to 20 times more efficient from an energy point of view than recycling it,” says Larauze. In addition, the statement states that “many of the WEEE collected for recycling end up in illegal landfills or are exported and treated irregularly to extract and sell the valuable materials they contain, making them a serious problem for the health of people and the environment. “
From Back Market they point out that more than half of the electronic scrap that is intended for recycling in Spain would not be properly managed. They add that everything would partly explain that Spain is already one of the European countries that most encourages the reuse of technological products. Indeed, they claim that the new law on the treatment of these devices in our country prioritizes the reconditioning of these devices against the recycling processes.
At European level, according to data from the European Commission as part of its project to control electronic waste entering and leaving the European Union, it is estimated that more than 10 million tons of WEEE are produced annually in the continent as a whole, which translates into 21 kg per person – equivalent to throwing away nine or ten laptops per European -, according to the statement from Back Market.