5th Expert Advisory Board meeting in Berlin

May 29th, 2014
Meeting of the expert advisory group of the CERREC project, Berlin (2014)

Meeting of the expert advisory group of the CERREC project, Berlin (2014)

On the 8th of April 2014 the final Expert Advisory Board (EAB) meeting within the CERREC project took place in Berlin. In total 27 experts and project partners discussed the current status of pilot activities in Austria and Italy as well as two position papers from RREUSE (www.rreuse.org) regarding “preparation for re-use standards” and “accredited re-use networks” that have been presented.

Pilot actions – a great success
In Austria, as well as in Italy (Province of Rimini), regional networks have successfully started with pilot actions. In the Province of Tyrol the first pilot phase (June – November 2013) resulted in 17.000 kg of re-used goods that have been brought to and sold in the second-hand shops of participating socio-economic enterprises. The collection of goods has been carried out in 30 sites all over the Province of Tyrol. Until mid-2014 the second pilot phase is being conducted with even more partners and involved municipalities.

In the city of Graz a new collection system has been introduced in April 2014 – the so called “Re-Use Box” (read more here). Also, great progress regarding fostering regional re-use networks has been made from our Italian partner, the Province of Rimini. Local re-use network, consisting of 8 partners from regional authorities, waste management and social enterprises, has been established. The project Rimini Riutilizza! has entered already in the second pilot phase. Many useful experiences have been made so far and the activities have been extended to 27 municipalities of the Province.

RREUSE states position regarding re-use standards and the term “accredited re-use networks”
Although not published at the date of the EAB-meeting, the partners and members were informed by Matthias Neitsch about two coming RREUSE position papers on i) preparation for re-use standard and ii) principles of approved Re-Use Centres and Networks (in the meantime published at www.rreuse.org). RREUSE itself is a European umbrella organisation of national/regional networks of social enterprises with re-use, repair and recycling activities.

With regard to a preparation for re-use standard, RREUSE indicates that this could be a tool to promote the re-use of products and preparing for re-use activities. Beside this, it has to be considered that re-use activities across Europe are at a different stage of development. According to this, quality standards should be on such level that they can be fulfilled even by social enterprises. The proposed standards should therefore help to assure safety and quality, and at the same time address processes rather than being a product quality label. In detail the position paper covers management principles (e.g. operator should adhere to all permits for collecting, handling and treatment and ensure, that a management system is in place), personnel (e.g. for WEEE a qualified person and/or training regime must be in place), preparation for re-use procedure (e.g. entering appliances have to be weighted, products must undergo diagnostic tests, full traceability,…) ending up at sales (e.g. labelling, guarantees and consumer information).

The second position paper of RREUSE deals with the definition of “accredited re-use centres and networks”. As for the term “accreditation”, legally clear procedures should be applied and defined standards fulfilled. This might be very difficult to achieve for re-use networks, especially small enterprises. Therefore the suggestion of RREUSE is to use “approved” instead, and even changing the wording in the legislation (Waste Framework Directive) through the European Commission. The position paper contains a non-exhaustive list of principles that approved centres and networks should abide. A selection of these principles are: full safety requirements for workers, vicinity and environment, recording of the material streams (input-output), qualified persons for every product group (e.g. mechatronic for WEEE), proper handling of used goods, national rules on warranties and quality standards as well as legal standards (e.g. for electronics,…).

Both position papers of RREUSE are in close relation with Workpackage 5 of CERREC where quality standards should be defined and an accreditation system for re-use centres or network should be proposed. Barriers to define an accreditation system have been also determined by the CERREC partnership. Therefore the approach of RREUSE regarding standards and “approved centres and networks” also meets with high degree of acceptance.