The new factory is located near the city of Buzău and it offers a complete solution to recycle refrigerators, as well as other household and industrial electronic goods, while also being capable of recovering dangerous substances, such as oils and refrigerant gases.

GreenWEEE is a company that has been around Buzău's industrial site since 2009 and in Câmpia Turzii since 2017.

The recycling capacity of the new facility in Moldova is 1.000.000 refrigerators per year, with the company being able to recover up to 98% of the materials found in a unit, which can then be reintegrated in various new products. With the inauguration of the new processing lines, GreenWEEE's total recycling capacity reaches 140.000 tons per year.

The new investment also includes the extension of the production and logistics area by 35.000 square meters, but also the integration of EV charging stations for personal and commercial vehicles. Thus, GrenWEEE invests not only in recycling end-of-life goods, but also in zero-emissions transport solutions.

The company's office space, located in the same site, also runs with improved energy efficiency, thanks to its advanced heating, cooling and ventilation system.

GreenWEEE also operates two other sites around the city of Buzău, for recycling PET and glass bottles, specifically for Romania's DRS system RetuRO.

A special counter placed near the facility showed in real time how many refrigerators were recycled and what the saved CO2 footprint was. Thus, in 48 minutes, experts were able to process 81 fridges and save 228 kilograms of CO2 in the process, while in 58 minutes, 98 fridges were recycled, with the reduced footprint climbing to 275 kilograms.

What does the facility look like inside

We got to be some of the first to tour the new facility, which is a modern industrial space for recycling electric and electronic waste streams, with state-of-the-art technologies that help workers recover as much raw materials as possible.

GreenWEEE experts are paying close attention to efficient collection of a fridge's coolants, since they say "one refrigerator contains around 440 grams of cooling gases, which if freed in the atmosphere, can release 2.8 tons of CO2."

Thus, by recycling a single fridge, GreenWEEE saves the equivalent emissions released by a car that circles the Earth twice.

The fridge's case is being minced into billions of small pieces and the cooling gases are being sent in a special chamber, where they are being liquified. The dry materials obtained from recycling (plastic, copper and aluminum) are being separated.

"To separate these materials: plastic, copper, aluminum, foam, the installation uses various methods, including gravity, airflow, magnets and even vibrations", GreenWEEE's team explained.

The plastic from recycled is transformed in various new products, including new fridge and washing machine cases, power outlets and even pens.

At the new facility, the company also recycles things like TVs and smartphones, with environmental benefits being calculated for those, as well.

Thus, recycling a single monitor can save up to 745 liters of water and prevents the release of the same amount of waste water. By recycling a day's worth of TVs and monitors, GreenWEEE saves the same emissions released by a single car that travels five times from Bucharest to Cluj-Napoca.

Over 80% of the components found in a TV or smartphone can be recovered and reused in various industries and so far, the company was able to recycle one million phones, recovering 34 kilograms of gold, 350 kg of silver and 15 kg of palladium.

GreenWEEE collects and recycles all types of electric and electronic waste streams, which come from the local market.