Swico Recycling system

Swico Recycling is a voluntary, cooperative system for taking back waste equipment. It has been operated successfully since 1994 by Swiss manufacturers and importers in the IT, office equipment, consumer electronics and photo/film sectors.

General information

The perfect plan - Short film in German

Convention signatories 2018

by category in %; total: 567

Diagram convention signatories 2018

Cost components

Expenses as % of overall cost

Diagram cost components

Quantities per product category

As % of total volume (2018: 45,760 tonnes)

Diagram quantities per product category

Volume and collection points

Volume of unwrapped WEE taken back in 1,000 tonnes
Total volume for 2018: 45,760
Total volume for 2017: 48,525

Diagram volume and collection points

25 years in the service of the environment

Volume taken back in 1,000 tonnes

Diagram 25 years in the service of the environment

Expenses and income

In CHF m.
Expenses for 2018: 27.1
Income for 2018: 26.2

Diagram expenses and income

How it all began

Previously, if you handed in electronic equipment for disposal, you had to pay a fee. This meant that many consumers simply dumped their disused equipment by the side of the road. Under the auspices of Swico, the six largest importers of IT and copying machines got together at the beginning of the 1990s to solve the problem. Representatives of the former Swiss Federal Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL) and the Swiss Consumer Protection Foundation (SKS) were also involved. An advance recycling fee (ARF) was proposed as a solution and the Swico recycling system was developed to ensure that electrical and electronic equipment could be taken back free of charge.

What started out with six members has continually grown in size, as well as in terms of its market coverage and professionalism. Swico Recycling’s system for taking back equipment now covers the whole of Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. Manufacturers and importers of electrical and electronic equipment in Switzerland and abroad have signed the Swico Recycling Convention, so that discarded electrical and electronic equipment can be disposed of in line with environmental guidelines and with a view to conserving resources.

The professional approach towards electrical and electronic recycling has given rise to a new profession: recycler. Some 100 young people are currently completing the three-year apprenticeship required for this profession in Switzerland. In addition, dismantling companies in the sector now provide employment for more than 1,000 people who are socially disadvantaged and/or physically disabled in our society (e.g. back-to-work projects or workshops for the disabled, etc.).



Laura Baier

+41 44 446 90 84

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