Fundación Ecolec is a not-for-profit organisation that manages the extended producer responsibility of producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) in Spain. As such, it ensures the collection and proper recovery and recycling of wastes arising for EEE, including electromedical products.
We asked Enrique Redondo, Technical and Operations Director of Fundación Ecolec, to tell us more about the organisation and their reasons for joining the project.
We joined DiCE as it provides a rare opportunity to participate in the definition of an integral solution for this emerging waste stream before it actually becomes a problem. To this end, Fundación Ecolec will perform leading role in the operational aspects of the pilot that will take place in Spain. In coordination with the rest of stakeholders and more specifically with the WEEE Forum and its affiliated entities, we will participate in the definition of the procedures and systems for collection. We will equally organise the reverse logistics ensuring the proper recovery or recycling of the collected devices.
Moreover, Fundación Ecolec will evaluate the effectiveness of the collection methods and nudging strategies and will characterise the wastes collected to assess their recoverability potentials. By doing this, it will help to assess the replicability of the solutions tested.
Intrigued by his passion for proper WEEE management, we discovered that Enrique experienced first-hand how important it is to extend circular principles to digital health waste.
A relative of mine was recently monitored and supported by electromedical equipment during his treatment at home. These devices had clearly facilitated his recovery and alleviated the situation. The value of these products is evident for both patients and society in general and therefore, the use of these devices is expected to increase rapidly.
However, when I asked on how the sensors or other devices should be disposed, nobody was able to provide me with a clear answer. In the best of cases I was instructed to return them to the hospital where there were no collection containers, and nobody seemed to know what to do with them.
It is evident that a solution is needed to improve the circularity of these products by promoting return practices, avoiding the loss of resources, and ensuring an environmentally sound reuse and recycling system.