Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is currently considered to be one of the fastest growing waste streams in the EU, growing at 3-5 % per year. WEEE contains diverse substances that pose considerable environmental and health risks if treated inadequately but the recycling of WEEE also offers substantial opportunities in terms of making secondary raw materials available on the market.

EU legislation promoting the collection and recycling of WEEE (Directive 2002/96/EC on WEEE) has been in force since February 2003 and an EU funded project under the Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliance programme, EwasteR, began in December 2014, with the aim of identifying the skills required to process WEEE efficiently and effectively.

The EwasteR project brings together 13 partners from Cyprus, Italy, Poland and the UK to work together to develop a skills framework and pilot programme to identify and deliver the right skill set for a sustainable approach to e-waste. The three-year project started in December 2014 and is due to complete in January 2018 with the aim of emphasising the relationship between waste creation and resource management and to demonstrate the need for skills, competence and experience of entrepreneurs and managers in devising a solution and/or an appropriate intervention.

WAMITAB is hosting an E-Seminar on Tuesday 12 December 2017 at the London Videoconference Centre in Holborn, London, UK starting at 9.45 am (GMT) and finishing at 1.00 pm. The programme will be conducted in English and delivered online to facilitate easy access for participants from across Europe and beyond, allowing them to log on and learn more about the project – the registration link has been shared extensively through social media channels – Link to register for EwasteR E-Seminar – 12 December 2017.

The event will be presented in two sessions. The first session, from 9.45-11.30, will share the lessons learned from the project over the last three years, covering the curriculum development process and the findings from the pilot programmes that have taken place in each country. The second part of the programme will set the project in the wider context of WEEE reuse and recycling in Europe where legislation has been driving the increase in recycling and/or re-use of WEEE and where there has been a gradual move away from the traditional linear economy model towards a more circular economy approach where the value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible, bringing major economic benefit and a strong focus on sustainability.

The partners in Italy, UK, Poland and Cyprus have been collaborating to create a qualifications framework at EQF Level 4, which addresses both the management and the technical skills required by those already working in WEEE reuse and recycling or seeking opportunities in the green economy.

The lead partner is Italy-based ERIFO, an accredited Vocational Education and Training (VET) provider; working with their partners: Terre di Siena Lab, Regione Toscana and Regione Lazio. WAMITAB (the Waste Management Industry Training & Advisory Board) has been working with their UK partners, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the London Community Resource Network (LCRN). In Poland the partners are The Institute of Environmental Protection – National Research Institute (IEP-NRI); Institute for Private Enterprise and Democracy and Educational Research Institute (IBE). In Cyprus the partners are Intercollege’ Cyprus Productivity Centre (CPC) and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The final reports and outputs from the project will be available in early 2018 via the project’s website and through the partner organisations.