Recyclia managed 20.5% more photovoltaic panels and electric vehicle batteries in 2021, thus consolidating its position as a manager of waste streams from new markets with significant growth prospects in terms of recycling and socio-economic impact over the coming years in Spain.
Recyclia, which manages three collective producer responsibility systems – Ecoasimelec, Ecofimática and Ecopilas – recycled a total of 49,433 tonnes of electronic waste in 2021, 8% more than in 2020, and set a record of 8,191 tonnes for battery and accumulator collection.
According to José Pérez, CEO at Recyclia, “in 2021 we consolidated our activity as managers of what might be called emerging waste. This achievement is the result of the pioneering decision of a decade ago to create a management model that brings together several collective producer responsibility systems under a single management entity, allowing us to have the foresight, capacity for adaptation and flexibility necessary to create new operations and generate synergies in the management of electronic equipment and batteries, in accordance with changing legislation and market trends”.
Recyclia recorded a 16.5% increase in the volume of solar panels managed, exceeding 560 tonnes in 2021. Through the Ecopilas foundation, the entity also managed 67,604 kilos of batteries from electric vehicles -scooters, bicycles, motorcycles and cars-, 24.4% more than in 2020. Electric car batteries accounted for the greatest increase (103%) in 2021, with 50,652 kilos. Meanwhile, the collection of batteries from bicycles and electric scooters was up 3% to 10,744 kilos. A further 6,208 kilos of electric scooter batteries were managed, enabling Recyclia to achieve the aforementioned total of 67,604 kilos.
In the case of both types of e-waste, the organisation foresees the creation of an essential market niche for the consolidation of the green economy in Spain, given the volumes of this waste expected to be produced as a result of the government’s promotion of electric vehicles and renewables. Recyclia estimates that around 30,000 tonnes of end-of-life solar panels will require management by the end of this decade, as these elements reach the end of their service lives, estimated at approximately 30 years. The organisation also expects to see a significant increase in lithium batteries for electric vehicles, which already account for 60% of all batteries sold and which will increase year-on-year by around 30% during this decade.