From us for you

Responsible and innovative partners are essential for a successful take-back system. We want to thank you, our ARF and disposal partners, for your outstanding support this year. Together, we have done some great things, and now it’s time to take a look back at what we have achieved.

Heidi Luck – Geschäftsführerin SENS eRecycling
Heidi Luck
Managing Director

Foreword by the Managing Director

Letting go is never easy

Dear Partners

Looking back on my eight years as Managing Director of SENS, there is something in particular that has enriched me over all these years: the invaluable conversations, sustainable projects and memorable exchanges with you! You guessed it, this is my last foreword for the Annual Report, and as hard as it is for me to say goodbye, I am even more proud now of all we have achieved together.

What was started with SENS eRecycling more than 30 years ago is now voluntarily supported by more than 1,300 ARF partners, made possible by 18 expert recycling companies and more than 600 collection points throughout Switzerland – and at the highest level. We were also given strong support at the political level with the approval of the technical revision of the ORDEE last October. The ordinance now applies to all electrical appliances and helps to boost the recycling of old appliances. During my years at SENS, it has always been my ambition to create a level playing field for all market participants – thanks to the consistent support of the system by our partners and policy-makers, we are now a big step closer to this goal.

In addition to such happy reflection on the past, I would also like to give you a taste of what you can look forward to in the coming years with a newly revitalised team and an ambitious strategy. As an expert in the sustainable treatment of electrical and electronic appliances, I can tell you that customer-friendly, modular and digitalised processes, new standards and constant further development, in terms of the circular economy, are the focal points – the very priorities Pasqual Zopp, my successor at the helm of SENS, has set for himself and his team for the next few years.

You can already see it in the current Annual Report – digitally we are ahead of the game. Teaming up with our partners, our voice carries better than if we stood alone, and where possible we find and close cycles. For example, our market basket analysis was enhanced with artificial intelligence, we clarified misunderstandings in the photovoltaics industry with our partner Swissolar, and disused toys were given a second life with the Circular App.

Letting go is not easy, dear Partners, as we also learned from the population survey on the recycling behaviour of our consumers, which we immediately chose as a theme for our communication this year.

Letting go is not easy for me either, but I do it feeling good and full of confidence about my successor. Thank you, dear Partners, for your trust and these eventful and memorable eight years at the helm of SENS.

Heartfelt greetings, thank you very much, and I hope to see you again.

Heidi Luck

Technical revision of the ORDEE approved

The ORDEE applies to all electrical and electronic appliances as of 1 January 2022

We have been waiting for a long time and with great anticipation, and on 20 October 2021, it was finally time – the Federal Council approved a change to the Ordinance on the Return, Taking Back and Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (ORDEE). The changed specifications of the ORDEE now apply to all electrical appliances.

Thanks to the separate collection and recycling of waste equipment, valuable materials such as gold, copper, aluminium, iron or recyclable plastics can be recovered via the corresponding process technologies. The revision of the ordinance helps to boost the recycling of waste equipment and thus close the resource cycle. Rare technology metals such as neodymium or tantalum are now to be recovered where the necessary processes exist.

The scope of application of the ordinance will be extended to all electrical and electronic appliances. These include, in particular, medical appliances, monitoring and control instruments, vending machines and photovoltaic modules, which will come under the ORDEE in the future. In the course of 2022, the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) will publish a list of relevant appliances. Since the specifications of the ORDEE now also apply to appliances from vehicles, buildings and objects that can be removed with a reasonable amount of effort, the potential for the recovery of recyclable components is also increased.

Due to the ongoing discussions about the parliamentary initiative 20.433 “Schweizer Kreislaufwirtschaft stärken” (Strengthening the Swiss circular economy), the aspects of the future financing solution for the collection and disposal of electrical and electronic appliances within the framework of the ORDEE will be postponed. As soon as the parliamentary work has been completed, the DETEC will assess once more whether the ORDEE should be revised again in light of the future financing system.

Merger of SENS eRecycling and SLRS

Joining forces for the future

SENS eRecycling and the Swiss Lighting Recycling Foundation (SLRS) have been working shoulder to shoulder for many years and have turned lighting recycling in Switzerland into a success story. As of 1 January 2021, the two foundations have closed ranks even further and joined forces via a merger.

There is a long history of intense cooperation between SENS eRecycling and SLRS. As part of a cooperation agreement in place since 2005, SENS eRecycling has been tasked with looking after the business-to-consumer (B2C) field and retail wholesale distributors, as well as collecting the advance recycling fee (ARF) for lamps and lighting equipment from the SENS contractual partners. Following the merger, both the B2C and the B2B fields are now being looked after by SENS eRecycling.

The merger enables a simplification of the structures to optimally procure the funds required to fulfil the purpose of the two foundations and make efficient and effective use of them. The merger enables a streamlined system for the respective contractual partners and a valuable contribution to strengthening the idea of a single point of contact in the field of lighting.


With our strengthened and efficient take-back system, we look forward to guaranteeing comprehensive and professional disposal of lamps and lighting equipment in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Study on the Swiss population’s stance on dealing with disused electrical or electronic appliances

This is how the Swiss population ticks

Can a remote control be thrown away with household waste if the batteries are removed first? Can broken electrical or electronic appliances be taken to the grocery store around the corner? Do people know where the nearest recycling centre is? How often does the average Swiss individual go there and for what purpose?

We wanted to know how well informed people in Switzerland are about the major environmental benefits of correctly disposing of electronic waste – what are their thoughts and approaches regarding this matter? For our 30th anniversary, we commissioned the University of Applied Psychology at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) to take a closer look at recycling behaviour in the context of disused electrical and electronic appliances in Swiss private households.

A two-stage study was carried out. As a first step, the topic was explored openly though interviews to gain a deeper understanding. Based on the acquired knowledge, a quantitative, representative survey was carried out in the form of a questionnaire as the second step. It was thereby possible to review and quantify the insights gained from phase 1.

The over 1,000 study participants were asked a wide variety of questions relating to the five subject areas of “knowledge and awareness”, “handling discarded electrical or electronic appliances”, “attitude towards recycling and disposal options”, “barriers and motivation” and “circular economy”. The survey yielded some surprising results.

For example, it was found that eRecycling is considered common knowledge and good manners in Switzerland. SENS eRecycling, on the other hand, is unknown to most. By contrast, collection points for disposing of disused electrical or electronic appliances are very well known. However, many did not know that disposal is also possible in specialist and retail trade. The Swiss are exemplary when it comes to recycling: they state that they always recycle consistently. However, it was found that not every electrical or electronic appliance is identified as such – especially in the case of smaller everyday objects such as torches or wristwatches. When it comes to such appliances in particular, the benefit is not always recognised: Is it even worth recycling such a small appliance with so much plastic?

A favourable sign is that the population has a positive attitude towards recycling in and of itself, but also towards eRecycling. They feel that they share responsibility and believe that those around them see things in the same way. However, there is still scepticism about what happens to the electrical or electronic appliances once they have been handed in at the collection point or specialist and retail shops. Are they actually recycled in Switzerland or is everything exported to Africa? The participants were not quite sure about this.

Seven recommendations for action were derived from these interesting results:

1. Build up knowledge and thereby establish certitude
2. Create salience for the topic of eRecycling and ReUse
3. Create a consistent link between eRecycling and environmental protection
4. Make social standards visible
5. Provide impulses for sorting
6. Establish accessible communication
7. Create clear and uniform rules

We have taken these recommendations for action to heart and have already implemented them in our communication. Who knows, you may even recognise a recommendation for action here or there this year.


The study provides valuable insights into the behaviour and attitudes of the Swiss population when dealing with disused electrical or electronic appliances. The recommendations for action derived from the study also serve as a basis for future communication strategies.

"Around 50 viewers followed the webinar live, enjoyed animated discussions and asked interesting questions."

Black Friday webinar

A brief and compact summary of our study

Black Friday is all about consumption in Switzerland too. We wanted to counteract this somewhat and invited our partners to shed light on the other side of consumption – namely when an electrical or electronic appliance has had its day. To this end, we conducted a webinar in cooperation with FHNW.

The results of this representative study were presented by Anne Herrmann, Professor of Business Psychology and Head of the Institute for Market Supply and Consumer Decision-Making at FHNW, fittingly during a public webinar on Black Friday. Sophia Sommer led the webinar and the subsequent Q&A session – a familiar face to many, as she can often be seen in our SENS films. Around 50 viewers followed the webinar live, enjoyed animated discussions and asked interesting questions. In the meantime, the recording has been viewed over 200 times and the great amount of follow-up questions and feedback also demonstrate the success of the webinar.

Did you miss the webinar? No problem. You can watch a recording of it on our YouTube channel.


Successful first webinar with exciting discussions and questions.

The “Excuses” campaign

Too valuable for cheap excuses!

The bag was too full already. It was cold and rainy. I was under a lot of pressure at the time. Excuses! We all tend to resort to them when we can’t be bothered to dispose of an electrical or electronic appliance properly. In our campaign, we took a closer look at the most popular recycling excuses. Our conclusion: even the smartest excuse is not nearly as clever as Switzerland’s eRecycling system.

On average, there are about 70 electrical or electronic appliances in a Swiss household. They don’t all still work, but many people find it difficult to admit that some appliances are definitely no longer needed. The study we commissioned on the recycling behaviour of the population showed that the disposal of the appliances is often perceived as a loss and that the broken appliances first end up in the basement as a result. This means that valuable raw materials that we could recover through recycling are wasted.

In our annual campaign, we gave the Swiss population a say. We wanted to know exactly what makes someone dispose of an electrical or electronic appliance properly – or not. In a cross-media campaign, we tracked down the most creative excuses, discussed the advantages of using appliances sustainably and, by looking into the recycling process, built up a great deal of knowledge about valuable raw materials and how to recover them.


The excuses show that the value of a broken electrical or electronic appliance is often underestimated. That’s why it’s important for us to communicate the fact that disposing of an electrical or electronic appliance is not a loss, but rather the last good deed that you can do for the environment with your favourite appliance.