Making progress together

Our vision is to lead Switzerland into a sustainable future in the recycling of electrical and electronic appliances. Each individual can make a big difference here. Nevertheless, we can be even more effective in our actions if we consolidate our strengths. We are thus exploiting our synergies with other take-back systems and working together to achieve our vision.

SENS 2.0 system update

A healthy equilibrium

During 2016, we worked intensively on the system adjustments announced in the previous year. This was not only true for us, but of course also for our partners, who we invited on several occasions to collaborate and provide their feedback. Ensuring a joint approach that was as transparent as possible was especially important to us here. After all, it was also a matter of bringing ever-faster-growing disposal costs and ARF income back into a healthy equilibrium.

In 2015, a thorough system analysis had already shown that the open take-back system in its current form allowed for collection volumes for which the relevant processing no longer satisfied environmental and economic criteria. Furthermore, as was also clearly demonstrated by the analysis, the take-back system was lacking in transparency overall. Just as unsatisfactory was the fact that neither SENS as the system operator nor the manufacturers, importers and retailers liable to pay were able to sufficiently influence the functioning, and thus the success, of the system.

An intact recycling infrastructure in Switzerland is very important to us. The system update should optimise the structure of the collection points (small collection points should join collection associations), allow for transport savings to be made (avoidance of minimal volumes) and lead to an unchanged ARF. These prerequisites are in place, as new companies, for instance, are also commencing operations in Switzerland.

From our perspective, an increase was not up for debate, as Swiss manufacturers and importers are in any case already facing significant challenges from foreign purchases and online retail, and increasing costs generated by “freeloaders” must not, for the sake of fairness, be passed on to Swiss consumers.

The centrepiece of SENS 2.0 is formed by the division of the transport chains into Recycler Logistics and SENS Logistics, with the former still handling the volume business and the latter primarily processing small quantities. For SENS Logistics, a suitable logistics partner has been found in the form of Giezendanner. This made it possible at the end of 2016 to manage and handle small volumes centrally via SENS. As before, however, the appliances are exclusively transported to licensed SENS recyclers in Switzerland, thus ensuring that Swiss disposal remains guaranteed.

SENS 2.0 was introduced at the beginning of 2017. We were especially pleased that more than 600 collection points as well as all recycling partners have signed the new agreement. We view this as an expression of the confidence they have in us and will use it as an incentive to work on the implementation of SENS 2.0 with all our vigour

SENS, Swico, SLRS Forum

Recycling 4.0

Distant future or soon to be part of everyday life? Guest speaker Karin Frick from the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI) is convinced that the digital revolution will also change the area of disposal.

On 24 August 2016 – a glorious late summer’s day – representatives and interested parties from SENS, Swico and the SLRS met for an exciting afternoon. Prior to the commencement of the actual forum programme, those who wanted to had the chance to take to the sky and observe the world a little from above – at least virtually with the Birdly flight simulator. The simulator of Max Rheiner, which is now renowned around the world, succeeds in simulating the flight of birds in a remarkably realistic manner – so realistically, in fact, that some test subjects became dizzy.

At the subsequent forum, however, it was back down to terra firma as those in attendance addressed the individual take-back systems and their figures as well as the current challenges faced by the recycling industry. Heidi Luck, Jean-Marc Hensch and Ivo Huber discussed the future of disposal and provided information on the activities of their respective organisations. As guest speaker, Karin Frick from the GDI asked provocative questions such as “Will intelligent jeans become future hazardous waste?” and “When will the first electrical or electronic appliance dispose of itself at the end of its service life?” The trend researcher outlined one way in which goods flows may develop in future – decentralised construction, production and deconstruction – and shared her conviction that the “digital revolution will also change the area of disposal”. The forum, which was held under the name Recycling 4.0, was presented in a clever and exciting fashion by Monika Schärer and accompanied by an extremely fitting musical interlude comprising a trash percussion performance by the German group Groove Onkels.

Fair ARF

Assuming responsibility made easy – with Fair ARF

Solidarity and fairness – since 2016, those wishing to act in accordance with these values have had the option to pay a voluntary recycling fee for those electrical and electronic appliances for which a charge of this kind was not levied at purchase.

In particular, consumers who buy their appliances abroad and/or via online retail outlets do not pay an ARF in most cases. Nevertheless, such appliances that find their way into the SENS take-back system at the end of their service life still place a strain on its mechanisms – without their buyers having contributed. SENS has found a simple and uncomplicated solution to this problem. A voluntary ARF payment in the amount of CHF 5 can be made to SENS by sending an SMS with the text “ARF” to the number 488. It could not be easier to show solidarity and act fairly.

A voluntary ARD payment in the amount of CHF 5 can be made to SENS by sending an SMS with the text "ARF" to the number 488

e-Recycling children's book

Lila and Tim discover e-recycling

A comic by SENS reveals what is hiding away in seemingly useless waste.

Remote-controlled helicopters, talking dolls and small humorous robots – all children are now familiar with electrical and electronic appliances. All children should also know that such appliances do not simply belong in the rubbish when the time comes to dispose of them. In order to boost awareness here, we have developed and produced a storybook especially for young children and their parents.

In the book, the two heroes Lila and Tim discover an old washing machine that has been left in the middle of a meadow. The story, which has a surprising ending, was put together by the renowned illustrator Rolf Meier, who was also responsible for the images in the latest Papa Moll and Globi stories, and the author Barbara Mettler. We look forward to handing it over to young environmentalists and their hopefully equally environmentally minded parents at future special events.