Today is Earth Day, which is celebrated to support environmental protection projects around the world. Based on research on this topic, every second Hungarian does not dispose correctly of electronic appliances and devices (e-waste).

46% of people place unwanted e-waste into bins or onto the street during house clearances. What makes this percentage particularly disappointing is that ¾ of these people actually recycle other household waste.

As reported by HVG, the increased demand for electronic devices and appliances is accompanied by increased production of e-waste, which is set to continue in the coming decades. Media Markt investigated Hungary’s household and e-waste habits.

We want to recycle

The majority of Hungary’s population pays attention to recycling. ¾ of residents selectively sort plastics while 67% of them recycle paper. With regards to waste which is not transported away from households, figures are still looking promising; 60% of residents sort glassware, batteries and e-waste.

In spite of initial doubts by residents regarding the possibility of their sorted waste being all remixed later, statistics show that people are becoming more confident about the recycling process. For example, half of the respondents believe that e-waste is properly disposed of while 27% affirm that it is disposed of properly.

Despite the confidence, e-waste is not disposed of correctly

In reality, nearly 50% do not organise e-waste properly.  1 in 5 put it out on the street; 30% of these people do so during house clearances. What is even more worrying, 6% put it in the bin while 7% just leave it on the street in the hopes that someone who might want it will pick it up.

Media Markt advises people to take their e-waste to designated collection points during official house clearance dates or give them to electronic businesses; Media Markt themselves process 1000 tonnes of e-waste a year.

What not many people know

The research also investigated why some people do not take e-waste to the correct disposal points.

  • 20% cannot or does not want to worry about e-waste recycling.

  • 15% does not have time to dispose of e-waste properly.

  • 22% of the respondents did not know how to recycle their waste.

“The research has taught us valuable lessons. A third of residents still do not know that they can dispose of e-waste at electronic businesses,” said Péter Bíró, an expert at Media Markt. He added that people can recycle their e-waste in all their 32 stores in Hungary.

Based on a law introduced in 2004, all businesses are obligated to remove old electronic equipment when their new ones are replacing items that the customer does not want. The company has to do this for free, and it can occur on the day of delivering the new item if requested by the customer.

Since 2015, due to a Government Decree, electronic companies also have to offer a discount if the exchange occurs on the same day.

According to the UN’s latest report, every year, 50 million tonnes of e-waste is produced, which could rise to 120 million by 2050. At the moment, only 20% of e-waste is recycled.

Recently, we reported that the opposition mayoral candidate for Budapest promises to transform the capital into a green city. Electric car-sharing options are also coming to Budapest.

Source: hvg.hu, mediamarkt.hu, unenvironment.org

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