By Evie Andreou
FAILURE to apply environment-friendly legislation Cyprus introduced after its EU accession is severely hampering the collection of battery, electric and electronic waste, waste management company Green Dot’s general manager Kyriacos Parpounas said on Monday.
Two organisations – AFIS and Electrocyclosis – cooperate with Green Dot and since 2008 and 2009 have collected 175 tonnes of batteries and 6,500 tonnes of electric and electronic waste, Parpounas told the Cyprus News Agency on Monday.
AFIS aims to collect 45 tonnes of batteries in 2015, with an annual target of 80 tonnes in the foreseeable future, while Electrocyclosis aims to collect 1800 tonnes of electric and electronic waste, eventually reaching 3500 to 4000 tonnes, Parpounas said.
“So far the development of infrastructure is faster than the original plans. AFIS has already a network of 2800 battery collection bins island wide. Electrocyclosis receives materials from municipalities, electronics shops, scrap yards and schools.”
Despite increasing public participation, the lack of a recycling network such as green spots – recycling areas where the public can transfer domestic waste for proper management and disposal – is hampering further development.
“The Green Spot network was to be implemented by the government but many delays are being recorded since the network was supposed to be created a decade ago,” Parpounas said.
“The public’s response is encouraging and there is increased interest; at the same time to reach these high goals even greater vigilance by all stakeholders is needed to promote the public’s participation even more.”
In the case of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) there are technical difficulties in addition to simply raising awareness.
“Old appliances have metals and are attractive for the scrap metal industry where they are being sold as scrap with important consequences to the environment,” he said. “Unfortunately the consequences of the economic crisis have affected the ability of local authorities to set networks for the collection of WEEE, leaving them at the disposal of illegal collectors that sell them as scrap metal creating a series of environmental dangers for themselves and the country,” he said.
He added that this is regulated by legislation but that the state is not implementing it.