Prior to the commencement of the widespread coronavirus lockdown CEWASTE partner Sofies was able to undertake the first pilot e-waste recycling facility audit to test the voluntary standard being developed by the project.
The audit took place at Solenthaler Recycling AG in Switzerland a leading recycler of e-waste in the country.
This was the first opportunity the project has had to test the real-world feasibility of the CEWASTE requirements and to get feedback on this from those in the industry. As such, it provided a valuable early insight into how easily and practically adherence to the requirements can be assessed.
The audit progressed well and the auditors noted how impressed they were with the high quality of the operations witnessed and the already significant efforts taken to improve, and continue to improve, CRM recovery at the plant.
The auditors also welcomed the valuable feedback received from the plant operators, both on the feasibility of the CEWASTE requirements and the challenges faced in recovering CRMs. This will help the project to improve the requirements and their long-term viability.
The project wishes to express its gratitude to Solenthaler Recycling for participating in this pilot audit.
The audits have now ceased due to the coronavirus restrictions but will recommence once these are lifted. Audits are planned across Europe as well as in Rwanda, Turkey and Colombia and will be undertaken by trained auditors from the project along with external auditors that have been trained in the CEWASTE requirements.
Despite the postponement of the CEWASTE pilot auditing phase caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the four-part CEWASTE auditor training program has been provided online. The sessions were organised by project partner Sofies during March and April, and focused on the management and technical requirements of the newly developed CEWASTE set of requirements. Around 15 participants, from the CEWASTE pool of auditors, took part in the training sessions, mainly from their homes due to the strict measures in place across Europe to deter movement.
The goals of the first two training sessions were to provide a general introduction to the CEWASTE project, give an overview of the objectives and timeline of the pilot phase, present the CEWASTE requirements and illustrate them with practical experiences and examples of audit questions. Training sessions were designed to be interactive, allowing for fruitful exchanges between participants. The iterative and open nature of the CEWASTE project was recognised, as CEWASTE pilot audits will allow to not only perform a gap-analysis (to which extent current recycling practices comply with CEWASTE requirements) but also provide feedback on the feasibility and applicability of the requirements.
The last two online training sessions were provided by the WEEELABEX Organization in early April, focusing on key requirements from the EN 50625 series of standards, on which the CEWASTE requirements were based.
These completed the comprehensive training curriculum equipping CEWASTE auditors with the knowledge and skills to go out in the field and support the pilot audits. It is not yet known exactly when the pilot audit phase can resume, but we know that the CEWASTE auditors will be ready!
17th March 2020
With the ongoing situation throughout the world regarding the coronavirus outbreak the pilot phase of the CEWASTE project has been put on hold. We are in discussion with partners, the project Advisory Board and the Commission regarding this and will provide updates as we know more.
CEWASTE is looking for auditors to help assess implementation of its voluntary certification scheme in the piloting phase of the project. The auditors, who must have knowledge and experience of the EEE, WEEE and, possibly, electric vehicle sectors, are required during Q2/Q3 2020 to visit facilities that are running a pilot test of the certification scheme and to undertake an audit against the requirements of the scheme. Facilities are located in the EU with three pilots are also potentially scheduled in Rwanda, Turkey and Colombia.
Full training will be provided including an accompanied training audit to a facility in Europe. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone working in the sector who wants to broaden their skills and experience and to be there at the inception, and be ready for the formal roll out, of this interesting development in standards for recycling. Further information is available here.