In an E-waste Race, ten groups from primary schools compete to collect as much small, broken electronic waste (also known as e-waste) as possible over four weeks. The race begins with a lesson. In this, the children learn what e-waste is, and that they should look out for old styling tongs, hair dryers, DVD players etc. They also hear why it is important to hand in e-waste. After that, the race starts.
In 2019, 231 teams from different schools participated in an E-waste Race. During the races in that year, no less than 478,562 items of equipment from which raw materials can be reclaimed were collected. In weight, they amounted to 240,370 kg. CO2 was saved. This was a considerable number of waste items, also in comparison with other (educational) initiatives whereby e-waste is collected in our country.
Studies show how you can ensure that people recycle more: this works if you keep it close to home and add some education. In 2017, Anna Lena Gompelmann made a study of the E-waste Race, and her conclusion confirmed this: ‘The E-waste Race contributes - even for years after the race - to the recycling behaviour of children and those around them.’
The winning group in an E-waste Race wins a school trip to Science Museum Nemo or a comparable museum. This is a motivator for the children, who love to go on such school trips. However, winning is certainly not the only motivation. Children have a big sense of responsibility. Timmy de Vos of the E-waste Race. “Promoting awareness and changing behaviour are ultimately the main aims of a race. Showing that collecting is important, and that this can be done considerably better with a little effort. That is out message to the children, and they happily spread this message across their neighbourhood or even the whole village. We are therefore happy to be able to conduct the races with the manufacturers’ system of Weee Nederland and its partners.”