Call for partners - Collection of used mobile phones, tablets and laptops for repair and reuse


In its Resource and Waste Management Plan 2024, the city of Copenhagen has the goal of increasing direct reuse of resources in 2024 by three times the level in 2016. Thus, the ambition is to minimize the amount of waste, promote the circular economy and citizens' awareness of reuse.

The ambition follows the provisions of the Danish Waste Executive Order, where the municipalities' waste management is prioritised according to the waste hierarchy in the following priority order: reuse, recycling, recovery and finally disposal.

Electronic waste (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste fraction globally. In Denmark, too, things are going the wrong way, with Danes disposing of almost 94,000 tonnes of electronic waste in 2019, compared with 77,000 tonnes in 2017.

At the same time, WEEE contains many rare earth elements that are important to reuse and recycle. A survey in 2020 among 1.000 residents of Copenhagen showed that more than half of the participating households had 1-6 smart phones and 1-5 laptops laying unused in their homes because, e.g., they did not know how to responsibly dispose of the used products. In addition, the repair industry has called for used IT and telecommunications equipment to be collected as quickly and carefully as possible, to achieve the greatest possible reuse potential.

Therefore, the city of Copenhagen wishes to prevent the degradation of WEEE by promoting reuse.

Purpose of the partnership
The market for responsible and safe collection of recycled electronics is currently limited, and there is a lack of knowledge and experience in the collection of used electronics. The purpose of the partnership is to test collection for the reuse of small electronics and to generate and share results, that can give leverage to the limited market. Among others, the City of Copenhagen wishes to find partners to test different placement options for collection boxes of used electronics. The boxes should make it easy and simple for the residents of Copenhagen to donate electronics for reuse. In addition, the partnership should document reuse volumes and examine user satisfaction, as well as determine how the boxes work at the various locations.

The municipality provides available test spaces for the boxes, e.g., at large recycling stations, local and central neighbourhood recycling stations, and libraries. Also, Copenhagen is looking for private partners, such as large supermarkets, shopping centers, large workplaces, housing associations, and educational institutions, who may be interested in “hosting” the boxes.

Partnership for increased collection and reuse of small electronics
The city of Copenhagen seeks:

  1. Private actors who are interested in having collection boxes for used electronics for the purpose of collection, and later refurbishing for further use (e.g. large supermarkets, shopping centers, large workplaces, housing associations, educational institutions)
  2. One reuse company/organisation who is interested in:
  • Setting up and operating collection boxes for reusable electronics
  • Being responsible for collection, deleting data, repairing, and reselling reusable mobile phones, tablets and laptops in a safe and careful manner. The partner receives the sales income from the used electronics. The reuse company enters into separate agreements with the private companies who show interest in the call for partners and wish to “host” one or more collection boxes for reusable electronics.

The following requirements and criteria are set for the selection of a reuse company:

  1. Finance and supply a minimum of 15 collection boxes of reusable electronics that can be placed and managed indoors or outdoors (there may be two different types of boxes)
  2. The collection boxes of reusable electronics must be designed for responsible collection of electronics, ensure the deposit is easy to access and be based on a design that prevents theft and fire.
  3. The collection boxes of reusable electronics must be fully developed
  4. There must be full traceability of the products collected and for the processes they undergo from collection to resale or lawful disposal in the waste system.
  5. There must be full compliance with the data protection law in connection with the collection and recycling of electronics
  6. For electronics containing any personal data, the data is deleted or destroyed in an irrevocable manner, so that it is ensured that any personal data does not fall into the wrong hands. This can be, for example, via recognized standards or certifications
  7. Any personal stickers with e.g. name, address or telephone number are removed from the used electronics
  8. Non-reusable electronics rightfully enter the waste system

The following non-exhaustive criteria count positively in the selection, if there are several interested recycling companies:

  1. Documented previous experience with separate collection of reusable, data-bearing electronics
  2. Work in accordance with the CELENEC standard or its principles
  3. Concluded (conditional) prior agreements with private parties on the installation and operation of collection boxes for reusable electronics in the city of Copenhagen
  4. How quickly the collection boxes for reusable electronics can be set up
  5. Documentation for - or description of - waste management in the countries where the products are resold

If you are interested in participating in the partnership, which runs from February 2023 to the end of 2024, please contact project manager Birte Busch Thomsen, Technical and Environmental Administration,

The application must not exceed 8 pages and must be received by 17 February 2023.

Based on the requirements and selection criteria, we expect to publish who will be part of the partnership formulation process on the 24th of Februry 2023. Soon after this, a work meeting will be held for the potential partners in Copenhagen.