ECOTIC, an e-waste collection scheme, has managed to collect over 175 000 tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment in 13 years of activity, thus ensuring the protection of the environment from harmful substances contained in this type of waste.
Being the first organization of producers and importers of electric and electronic equipment in Romania, ECOTIC has set a record in terms of waste collection: more than 175,000 tons. Likewise, it boasts a complex infrastructure of more than 6,000 collection points nationwide open to the public in retail, companies, institutions, hospitals, malls, gas stations and pharmacies, awareness and collection campaigns in urban and rural areas, known as "Clean Cities", "Clean Villages" and "The Recycling Station", as well as educational projects implemented at national level.
Awareness projects targeting both children and adults, such as "Ecoterrians’ School" and "Act in Romania like abroad", are an important part of the organization’s efforts to change mindsets and inform the Romanian public regarding the best available solutions for separate collection of electric and electronic waste. The ECOTIC Caravan, a mobile exhibition presenting the components of electric and electronic equipment, created for educational purposes as part of a project funded by LIFE (EU funding instrument for the environment and actions in the field of climate change) visited more than 150 schools throughout Romania. Its mission was to educate young people about environmental protection. In 2018, the European Commission awarded it the “Best Environment LIFE Project”, thus recognizing its impact in educating young generations.
The study "Quantification of waste of electric and electronic equipment generated in Romania, comparative situation 2019 v. 2015" published in 2019 showed that out of 8.3 kg of electronic waste that Romanians remove from their home as waste, only 3 kg reach the correct recycling flow, the rest reaches landfills or an incorrect recycling flow. This has negative consequences for both the environment and the health of the population, much of this e-Waste containing toxic substances that pollute the soil and groundwater.
Current legislation on separate collection clearly imposes the rules for the collection of different types of waste, but the problems still persist: poor public awareness on the importance of separate collection, lack of collection infrastructure and especially municipal collection points, poor implementation of legislation and a persistent lack of coercive measures. In the case of e-Waste, this is visible at national level due to Romania's inability to reach the country target of 45% (applied to the average EEE placed on the market in the last 3 years). The situation is even worse as this target will increase to 65% starting in 2021.
Representing over 600 manufacturers and importers of electrical and electronic equipment, ECOTIC ensures both the collection of electrical waste but also supervises the entire process of collection, transport, dismantling and recycling thus ensuring that, in the end, WEEE is no longer a danger to the environment. At the same time, the organization promotes the WEEELABEX standard, a European certificate that ensures compliance with European standards for the collection, transport and recycling of WEEE.
The organization is also the one to introduce, in 2007, for the first time on the Romanian market, the Green® Stamp, representing, to the consumer, a guarantee of the correct management of electric waste. The Green Stamp represents, according to art. 28-32 of GEO 5/2015, the remuneration meant to cover the costs of collection, reuse, recycling, recovery and clean disposal of WEEE and the costs of consumer awareness, activities to be financed by EEE producers.
In 2020, ECOTIC implemented the national public awareness campaign “Be in your country as well as abroad” meant to raise awareness about the solutions available to the public for separate collection. The multimedia campaign included promotion in the social media, on TV channels as well as print media.