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Law on return of electrical goods introduced

SLOVAK customers can now return their old electric appliances to the shop when purchasing a new one, based on a new law on waste recycling, the SITA news wire reported.

The law comes to effect on August 13, 2005.

Peter Gallovič, the director of the Environment Ministry's waste management department explained to journalists that a corresponding European Union directive will come into effect on the same day. This directive sets out an obligation for member states to create a system whereby old electrical appliances can be safely dealt with.

The law applies mostly to producers of electrical appliances, but also to importers and distributors.

"Retailers will not need to ensure safe disposal, the duty rests on producers," said Gallovič.

He also said that the producer would have to motivate the retailer to take over this responsibility.

Martin Ciran, who is the director general of the Electrical Appliances Association of Producers for Recycling -- Envidom, believes that most retailers will be willing to collect old electrical appliances.

He believes that in a very short time there will be hundreds of retailers offering the service.

"We are unable to ensure this service immediately after August 13 everywhere in Slovakia," said Ciran.

He added that if retailers do not have an waste recycling agreement with producers, then they will have to inform the customer where the nearest waste collection site is situated that has a contract with the relevant producer.

The law, however, only applies when a customer buys a new electrical appliance.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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