It is a standard that collections of electrical wastes are attended by whole families, especially when the weather is nice. Children usually have a role of handing over several batteries in a plastic bag, but on 22 April in Zerzeń quite a big boy handed over his battery-powered cars. This sight evoked deep reflections in me… Children are usually unwilling to get rid of their toys, contrary to adults. We all know that children have emotional ties with their toys, and a toy car which is technically not working anymore, which does not have three wheels due to some reason or another and whose power supply installation is broken may still be the most loved toy of the child which he or she never wants to give up. A lot of time has to pass before a child allows his or her parents to throw the toy away or before he or she decides to give it away to another child or dispose it at the point of collection of broken-down equipment. Is such difficulty connected with giving away toys only characteristic of children and their toys? When we watch adults who come to such collections and the equipment they bring with them, we usually cannot fail but notice the sentiment they have for the electrical wastes they are handing over, however other behaviours can be observed as well. “You know, some time ago, this radio was second to none” – we also hear such comments. Usually, people handing over their electrical wastes do not have much to say, but judging from the equipment they bring, we can deduce that it has spent 20 or 30 years in attics or other hiding places to finally have “their time”. We can notice two aspects of the phenomenon. The first is a certain sentiment to things we used for many years or things which used to belong to our close relatives, e.g. the first computer of our son, who has grown up since, then got married, moved out and only his computer had to wait 20 years to officially acquire the status of electrical waste. The general definition of wastes says that wastes are all pieces of equipment or goods which have lost their utility value and whose owner wants to get rid of them. It is worth noting that from the time of loss of utility value by a given piece of equipment to the time when its owner wants to get rid of it sometimes, due to various reasons, even 20 or 30 years have to pass. This is some explanation why AURAEKO still removes many tons of electrical wastes from locations from where tens of tons of used electrical and electronic equipment and used batteries have already been removed. The second aspect concerns a somewhat perverse thesis, redefining electrical waste. It may happen that any object may become waste, even if it has not lost its utility value, but the irritation of the owner caused by the object due to the lack of space for it and continuous moving it to another place may surpass the sentiment and positive attitude the owner has to the object. There’s something in it!
Apart from that reflection, which is not valid only in Wawer-Zerzeń, it is worth noting that under this project, during 5 hours, we collected more than three tons of electrical wastes. The Parish Priest, rev. Krzysztof, did a good job here, representing the Partner of the project, the Warsaw – Zerzeń Parish.