Bulgarian producers are not ready to implement the European environmental directives on waste electrical and electronic equipment and restricted use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, the Chairman of the National Chamber of Electrical Engineering in Bulgaria Roumen Atanassov said in december 2006. He opened a two-day seminar on the responsibilities of bulgarian producers in accordance with the European environmental directives, attended by representatives of business and the public administration.
The seminar is discussing directives 2002/95/EC on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment and 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment, which are designed to tackle the fast increasing waste stream of electrical and electronic equipment and complements European Union measures on landfill and incineration of waste.
Increased recycling of electrical and electronic equipment will limit the total quantity of waste going to final disposal. Producers will be responsible for taking back and recycling electrical and electronic equipment. This will provide incentives to design electrical and electronic equipment in an environmentally more efficient way, which takes waste management aspects fully into account.
Consumers will be able to return their equipment free of charge. In order to prevent the generation of hazardous waste, Directive 2002/95/EC requires the substitution of various heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium) and brominated flame retardants (polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)) in new electrical and electronic equipment put on the market from 1 July 2006.
Atanassov explained that these directives are a serious problem and challenge for all EU member states. He was also adamant that they require the development of new technologies and a continued period for preparation of the industry for that.