In Austria, around 80,000 tonnes of WEEE and 2,500 tonnes of waste batteries are collected every year; the ARA service group (specifically, the ERA compliance service) accounts for 40 % of this amount. Every Austrian resident collects around 9.5 kilogrammes of WEEE per year – a top result in Europe.
Consumers and businesses can drop off WEEE and used batteries at around 2,100 collection points across the country; ERA provides 100 such points. In addition, people can also return WEEE to retailers/distributors when they purchase a new, equivalent device which fulfils the same functions as the old one, provided that the shop’s sales area is greater than or equal to 150 square metres. Batteries can always be returned to vendors free of charge, even when not buying new ones.
Business and political stakeholders have long recognised the significance of WEEE as a source of valuable secondary raw materials. Eco-friendly recovery in line with the state of the art helps reduce the amount of waste to be managed, while at the same time preserving natural resources.
ERA works exclusively with partners who ensure the proper treatment and recovery of WEEE and batteries. On average, the recycling rate for electrical and electronic equipment is around 85 %; the rest is sent to incineration plants, where it is converted into energy (electricity and district heating).