Spanish white goods recycling

It’s a bit of a joke, innit.

I thought that the law said that when you bought a new washing machine, the happy retailer was obliged to take away the old one for free and gratis. Others may well do so, but IKEA (Gran Vía, Hospitalet, Barcelona) try and whack you with a €21 recycling charge for the old one in addition to the mandatory canon added to the price of the new one

This, I thought, must surely breach Spanish law and the original European directive. However, the Real Decreto 208/2005, de 25 de febrero, sobre aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos y la gestión de sus residuos turns out to have been yet another Zapatero “green” PR initiative, with no thought given to implementation.

From the summary here, IKEA’s interpretation – though radically out of synch with all the corporate eco bullshit – doesn’t look all that outlandish. If I don’t want to pay them, I can always find someone to help me carry 70 kilos of cleanliness down the stairs to a rented van, get someone to drive it to whoever sold it to me in 2006, whereupon they will recycle it for FREE!

Or I can just rustle up a couple of homeless Africans who will pick it up, thank me with a smile, trolley it away, sell it for a few euros to a scrap metal dealer, and sod the environment.

In 2011 the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) did a glorious little study, hiding GPS transmitters inside 16 recyclables, of which only 4 made it to official recycling points. And who’s to know where what goes, with no functional system of registration.

Conclusions: the law is a money-spinner for manufacturers, retailers, and junkyards, leaving consumers even more screwed than they were before and the environment not much better off.

Thanks José Luis!

Meanwhile Javi, one of the less immoral links in this chain, is toning up his bitch for the beach, whatever his chances of pronouncing that English phrase correctly:

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