At least 85% of electrical and electronic waste generated in the European Union will have to be recycled by 2020 under the new rules that took effect recently. Environment Commissioner Janez Potonik has said that the new law is a step towards reusing valuable materials such as rare earth metals, gold, silver and copper used in televisions, computers, mobile phones and other household products.
Under the new legislation, EU countries will have to recover 45 tonnes of e-waste for every 100 tonnes of e-goods sold by 2016, rising to 65% of sales by 2019 or 85% of all e-waste generated. Newer member countries get an extension until 2021. Electronic & electrical waste is either dumped in landfills or shipped abroad for disposal because of the high cost of recycling in Europe.