In 2020, Dutch consumers and companies separated and handed in more waste electrical appliances and light bulbs (e-waste) than in the previous year. Wecycle’s collection figures showed an increase in 2020, the year in which the covid pandemic broke out. 125.5 million kilos of waste electrical appliances and energy-efficient lamps were collected. This is an increase of 8.1% compared to the previous year. The recycling of e-waste also resulted in 14% more mercury being captured than the year before and 3% more CO2 emissions being avoided. This amounts to CO2 savings of about 395,000 tonnes in 2020, which is equivalent to the energy consumption of 260,000 households. Despite this good result, considerable additional effort is needed to reach the collection target of 65% of all appliances. Since 1 March 2021, the OPEN Foundation is therefore responsible for the collection and recycling of all e-waste in the Netherlands on behalf of all producers of electrical appliances. Under the flag of Wecycle, the OPEN Foundation keeps running campaigns to encourage consumers and companies to separate and hand in e-waste and energy efficient lighting at one of the 13,000 Wecycle collection points.

The covid pandemic made it a special year in many ways. Numerous measures had to be taken in the chain to ensure safety, while the disposal of e-waste increased enormously as everyone started cleaning up and doing odd jobs. “The covid pandemic showed the importance of electrical appliances in our society. Thanks to these devices, we were able to work from home and keep large parts of the economy going,” says Mr Jan Vlak, director of the OPEN Foundation. He continues: “We are therefore pleased with the millions of collected kilos of discarded electrical appliances. Thanks to reuse, recycling and energy recovery, 99% of these appliances and the materials they contain now have been given a useful application and raw materials are being recovered. He concludes, “Wecycle looks back on both an eventful and a good year and looks forward to a new year in which the OPEN Foundation, as chain director, can take new steps.”

Wecycle’s annual report with all the figures can be found at