When we moved from the U.S., we brought over all of our electronics and all of those cords and things we refused to throw out because we didn’t have time to take them to be recycled. Two years after moving here, we still have a few boxes of old Palm Pilots, cell phones, cords, and ancient computer towers that have seen better days.
After doing some research to find out where we can recycle all of these goods, I’ve come upon a few resources to help anyone living or traveling in France who needs to recycle old electronics to make sure they’re not throwing perfectly good materials and hazardous waste into the garbage.
I learned that in November of 2006, Eco-Systemes became an government accredited agency that organizes the collection, recovery, and recycling of electrical and electronic waste. The company has 35 shareholders and over 2000 participants of manufacturers and distributors that represent over 71% of the recycling market.
How is this initiative funded? Through a tax called “eco-participation” between .01 and 13 euros. One can see it on their receipt whenever they purchase an electronic good such as a refrigerator, cell phone, toaster, and other electronic household items. Your money pays for the meticulous process of dismantling, recycling, and properly disposing of hazardous waste and chemicals that could have otherwise been dumped in a landfill and seeped into the ground and water sources.
Unwanted goods can be exchanged upon the purchase of a new item at a participating store, dropped off at a partnering location, or make a donation at a participating non-profit organization who will repair the item and donate or resell it at a discount price to those in need.
If you go to your local chain grocery or electronics store, like Geant, Monoprix, and E. Leclerc, it is possible to drop off light bulbs, batteries, and other small electronic items in a recycling box. They’re usually near the customer service kiosk or entrance of the store.
Here are some resources to help you recycling your old electronics and clear up your home of unwanted materials!
- Collectons.org – Enter in your zipcode and find participating locations.
- Eco-systems – Learn everything you need to know about Eco-systems and their initiative.
- Ecologic – An organization that offers recycling services for businesses and information to the public.
- European Recycling Platform – Information and retail services.
- Recylum – Recycler of light bulbs.
- e-dechet.com – Electronic recycling for small and growing businesses