eReuse: how to dramatically increase reuse and recycling rates in the WEEE sector


14 Dec 2018


Press Contact: Agnese Marcon, Project and Communications Officer, Zero Waste Europe
[email protected] / +32 (0) 2 73 62 091

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brussels, 14/12/2018

“What do you do when you have 30.000 computer devices to discard each year, 92% of them been still functional?”

That was the issue the Catalan government had to solve in 2014. The answer to this question lead to an innovative system

that is now active in 10 cities and 8 countries:

The vast majority of digital devices is prematurely recycled or dumped, eReuse aims to change that by repairing,

upcycling and promoting reuse, leading to creating 1 job for every 300 items reused. 

The increase in e-waste volumes will not be mitigated by recycling alone and currently 76% of the e-waste flow is unknown,

likely dumped, traded, or recycled under unknown conditions.

“A Circular Economy requires full transparency and traceability of products and materials.

eReuse is the perfect example of how the symbiosis between digital technologies

and waste management systems can create value, local jobs and reduce waste.”

Joan Marc Simon, Zero Waste Europe Executive Director

eReuse innovative system use blockchain technology to allow full transparency and traceability,

ensuring that the devices will be recycled when no further reuse is possible and acting as an audit against premature recycling.

eReuse is an online platform but moreover an open source project replicable in any city around the world.

This pioneering system benefits the communities at different levels:

  • Public administrations or private companies donating unwanted devices, preventing waste generation and by doing so creating local jobs.
  • Reuse centres and professionals for the repairing and retailing.
  • Organisations and private citizens accessing renewed devices at a fair price.
  • Zero waste entities and other organisations working against the digital divide.

“The Eu needs waste prevention targets to drive forward the Circular Economy agenda

and the traceability brought about by eReuse makes it possible to quantify the performance

of repair and reuse in a way that can be used beyond electric and electronic waste.”

Joan Marc Simon, Zero Waste Europe Executive Director

A device or its components are reusable for as long ad they have value for someone.

eReuse keeps the value going and when it finally ends, it ensure a safe recycling.

David Franquesa, eReuse

Our challenge is the implementation of a circular economy: to extend the lifetimes of electronic/digital devices

as far as possible by repairing, updating, and reusing them. In this way the society doesn’t waste value from

already manufactured resource. Replicating the project would transform costs into revenues which stay in the local community.

Zero Waste Europe fully encourages other municipalities to follow the Barcelona example.

Download the Case Study here.