The Moscow Department of Public Utilities and Amenities, Moscow Department of Environmental Management and Protection, and Moscow Agency of Innovations have announced an open challenge for innovations in managing waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
This open challenge is driven by the need to create effective mechanisms for separate WEEE collection, disposal and recycling in Moscow.
The disposal of various types of WEEE has various economic implications. Some WEEE components are commercially attractive, others are not, while technically it is possible to recycle up to 95% of WEEE. The absence of a centralized system for the accumulation, collection and disposal of WEEE in Moscow has a number of negative consequences, for example:
• hazardous waste containing mercury (including electrochemical cells) gets mixed with municipal solid waste (MSW) and buried at landfills;
• refrigerants from refrigeration waste escape into the atmosphere;
• a lack of control over the disposal of acid batteries (batteries, uninterruptible power supplies) leads to irresponsible recycling practices by certain companies that extract lead from batteries while dumping acid electrolytes into the environment and mixing plastics with MSW;
• the collection of WEEE from organizations is carried out by a multitude of private companies, with very little control over their disposal practices; as a result, commercially attractive WEEE with valuable components gets redeemed, while the remaining part of WEEE is shipped to landfills.
Participation is open to projects at various stages of development – from ideas to complete products. Small and medium innovative companies, entrepreneurs, research teams, and individual scientists are encouraged to apply.
Submissions will be evaluated by a dedicated jury comprised of representatives of the Moscow Agency of Innovations, Moscow Department of Public Utilities and Amenities, other executive authorities, and industry organizations.