Pangea is a non-for profit web service provider association promoter of USOdy.com platform in Catalonia and EU for the reuse and recycling of EEE.
WEEE is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the EU. Due to their complex nature, their management is very relevant to avoid environmental and health problems. Moreover, the production of modern electronics requires the use of scarce and expensive resources, hence R and PfR is very significant.
This practice wants to:
- Increase the donation of devices
- Promote and support digital device refurbishers
- Increase the supply of refurbished devices for vulnerable consumers and groups
- Free software availability and circular economy protocols
It works with the following stakeholders:
On the supply side: agreements with donors (e.g. Barcelona City Council) and redistributes the devices to refurbishing entities.
Refurbishing entities: the quota of devices they received depends on the yields of repair and improvement.
On the demand side: end-users. Each refurbishing entity has its own portal to handle their orders, but in addition a community portal (USOdy.com) has been created, which derives the orders to the refurbishing and distributing entities that have the best returns on traceability.
The last step is to facilitate refurbishers the process of tracking distributed devices. It is planned to implement a deposit-return system (end March 2020). This will reduce tracking costs and improve recycling indicators of reused products. As well, it will certify the actual impact generated by reuse.
• Human resources: 4 FTE (1 CEO, 1 operations/marketing, 2 programmers);
• Financial resources: 150.000€ (technology development and operations)
• It requires 15.000 devices / year: make agreements with donors to transfer the devices to refurbishing and waste management entities.
Evidence of success
Aggregated indicators (18 refurbishers, 100 donors):
• 5K processed, 3Kreused and 2K recycled devices (2016-2019)
• 150 end-users
• 150K € income
• 1,2M€ savings in digital divide reduction
• 7,5 jobs/month of people in situation of work vulnerability
• 17M h of extended usage (50% with digital vulnerability)
• 1.200t of eq CO2 avoided
• 6t of hazardous waste recycled and recovered
Increased reuse of administration’s EEE from 0,05 to 50%, and recycling from 0,05 to 50%.
Challenges: Economic sustainability; Legal barriers and bureaucracy; Few protocols of collaboration between social and solidarity economy. Lessons: Collaboration enables to scale and allows specialization; Shared management costs and technology; New distributed systems federated and self-managed.
Potential for learning or transfer
In EU, more than 40M devices are discarded by the public administration, although they are 87% reusable and 93% potentially reusable. 95% go directly to recyclers, losing their traceability and impact in circular economy.
The business model of USOdy platform focuses on its potential in the alliances that can be woven between the different players in the system (network and specialization). It has also a big potential to support the reduction of the digital divide and promote learning activities among end-users.
Local, stand-alone platforms that can use USOdy resources could be created. There is no need to sign an agreement with USOdy, the resources (code, methodologies ...) are in free software.
Shared management costs for the assignments (focus on few processes, but very well done) can reduce costs and ensure optimum levels of quality.
Sharing technology and methodology, that is, to share the code of the information systems with technology providers.
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