Enhancing Parties capacities for the environmentally sound management of e-wastes through the enhanced regional delivery: e-waste activities in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Background

Developing countries and countries with economies in transition often use sub-standard recycling and treatment processes for e-wastes. Family repair shops often operate in a legislative vacuum. The important involvement of a multitude of small family businesses in repair and refurbishment and the informal sector in recycling makes it difficult to understand the local market mechanisms. Sound repair, refurbishment, resource recovery and recycling techniques and technologies should be promoted to cope with the increasing volumes of both e-waste imported and generated domestically.

In order to promote environmentally sound recycling, traceability is of paramount importance: countries need to know where the used electrical and electronic equipment is going, and if it will be managed in an environmentally sound manner. Enforcement agencies are not always aware of the issue although they have the potential to undertake joint enforcement operations with custom agencies on illegal import of hazardous e-waste, and to take actions against those that do not follow established regulations, where such regulations exist.

Outcomes

The project enhanced Parties’ capacities for the environmentally sound management (ESM) of e-wastes. The project provided a platform to introduce existing and newly developed training materials and guidance documents, identify existing challenges and seek solutions for addressing the transboundary movements of and ESM of e-wastes for the countries in the region.

In the regional workshop for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on 6-8 July 2016 participants addressed such issues as national and regional legislation on e-waste, looking at the EU directives as an example of the regional level legislation, the extended producer responsibility, recycling and technology transfer. Two case studies on the extended producer responsibility in Belarus and the technologies for environmentally sound mercury recycling and recovery of mercury-containing electrical and electronic equipment in the Russian Federation were prepared as a follow-up to the workshop.

Three pilot activities, in particularly in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova were launched. The activities generated comments and feedback on the technical guidelines on transboundary movement of e-waste and the concept for a PACE follow-up partnership. Further in-depth discussions on the technical guidelines on transboundary movement of e-waste on the national level also took place in the format of webinars for national stakeholders for interested pilot countries. Each of the pilot projects except for Moldova focused on undertaking national or city-level e-waste assessment complimented by specific activities tailored to each country.

The project was completed in March 2018.

Project objectives

  • Contributing towards developing national e-waste inventories and policies for implementation of the Basel Convention in two pilot countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia;
  • Disseminating the e-waste technical guidelines, the guidance documents and practical manuals developed under the Basel Convention Partnership programme and the ESM expert working group;
  • Facilitating collection and exchange of best practices with regard to ESM of e-wastes among parties, including information on new technologies and cleaner production methods to prevent and minimize the production of hazardous e-wastes; and
  • Enhancing Parties’ capacities to monitor and control e-waste transboundary shipments and enforce the Basel Convention.

Financial support

Financial support for the implementation of the project was kindly provided by the European Union.

Overall coordination

Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

Implementing partners

Independent ecological expertise (Kyrgyzstan), Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Moldova, and the Center for Sustainable Production and Consumption (Kazakhstan)

Follow-up to regional workshop

  • Case study on the extended producer responsibility in Belarus

  • Technologies for environmentally sound mercury recycling and recovery of mercury-containing electrical and electronic equipment in the Russian Federation

  • Preliminary and brief initial assessment of electronic waste for Central Asia focusing on Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

  • Pilot project in Moldova on Promoting the environmentally sound management of e-waste in the Republic of Moldova

The pilot project s in Moldova reviewed and updated the list of the producers of electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) and distributors in Moldova in order to identify the pool of major actors that will further be trained to promote extended producer responsibility. The training on extended producer responsibility for e-waste sector targeting economic operators taking into account best international practices was organized. A meeting to discuss the transboundary movements of e-waste and used EEE was held to provide input and comments on the e-waste technical guidelines. A study tour to Belgium was organized for the government officials and representatives of the business sector. A draft statute and regulation of the Association of the e-wastes producers was developed to further serve to promote the extended producer responsibility in Moldova for e-waste. Finally, awareness was raised among key stakeholders at national level on the e-wastes regulation in Moldova.

  • Pilot activities in Kyrgyzstan on Improvement and strengthening of the legislative framework to soundly manage electrical and electronic (e-waste) in the Kyrgyz Republic
The follow-up pilot project in Kyrgyzstan established a working group to review international experience related to e-waste legislation and undertook an analysis of the national legislation in the area of e-waste. Experts assessed the national legislation related to the management of e-waste to identify gaps and to further support the development of effective measures for the regulation and control of e-waste. On the basis of an analysis of national legislation and international experience, experts developed recommendations containing draft measures for managing e-waste for further consideration by decision makers.

A final workshop was organized and conducted with the participation of stakeholders on the project's results and planning for the future activities to promote environmentally sound management of electronic waste in the country.
  • Pilot activities in Kazakhstan on Support for the creation of infrastructure for the collection and utilization in an environmentally sound manner, of waste electrical and electronic equipment in Almaty
In the framework of the pilot project in Kazakhstan, a preliminary e-waste assessment for the city of Almaty has been prepared. The assessment also included the baseline assessment of national and technical regulations related to e-waste management in Kazakhstan. A workshop targeting local authorities and public, small and medium-sized enterprises was organized. Eco-boxes for the collection of cellular phones and batteries and containers for large equipment have been installed. Finally recommendations will be developed on improving e-waste management in Almaty city shortly.

Project outputs

Kyrgyzstan
  • Review of the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic in the field of electrical and electronic waste management
  • Recommendations containing draft measures to manage e-waste for further consideration by decision makers;
  • Report of the National workshop to disseminate the project results and raise awareness, 6 July 2017
  • Draft regulation on the environmentally sound management of e-waste.

Kazakhstan

  • Preliminary WEEE inventory in Almaty city, including the baseline assessment of national and technical regulations related to e-waste management and recommendations on improvement e-waste management system in Almaty city (hyperlink to the attachment)
  • Workshop for local authorities, public, small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Eco-boxes for the collection of cellular phones and batteries and containers for large equipment installed.

Moldova