Corfu Recycling was founded in 2001 and is based in Corfu, Greece. Their business is the recycling of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
They gather, separate and process over 9,000 tons of metals per year on the island of Corfu alone. They work in close cooperation with a network of recycling companies throughout Greece. Their aim is the best possible separation of materials.
Corfu Recycling has quickly expanded and now has 14 employees. In 2006 they moved to a privately owned property and throughout their development they have invested in new infrastructure and machinery.
The range of goods they recycle is almost endless, but includes vehicles, household appliances, PCs and batteries.
“All garbage can be recycled, wood can be ground into raw material, and the same goes for fabrics, plastic, glass and metals, you can give a new form and use to everything. We don’t need to throw away anything. There is a worm called California worm that eats organic waste such as garden and kitchen waste. It consumes its own weight of waste daily and its excrements can be used as a fertilizer in agriculture. What we need is for the state and the local government to take initiatives, to organise separate collection points (bins) so that citizens can separate their garbage and throw it in the corresponding bin. After that we – and others like us – can deal with the rest of the process!”
If this is a viable alternative, why all this fuss about landfills? Why don’t you take over the whole waste management and get it over with?
“I tried many times to discuss this matter with the local authorities but there was no response. There is no state in Greece and everyone is trying to find a way to get a personal profit out of every new venture.”
Unfortunately, this is the reality in Greece, so you have limited yourself to metals. How long has your recycling facility been functioning?
“I started five years ago after many bureaucratic and time-consuming processes, and three years ago I managed to get all the necessary permits to work according to all EU rules and regulations. I am still trying to upgrade my business, creating a 250 sq.m. building to get an ISO certification. To do this I need to create the necessary infrastructure, access routes for wheelchairs, waiting rooms, changing rooms, toilets, and I also want to set up covered metal recycling facilities, garages and maintenance posts for my equipment and other things. I need two years to complete the organisation of my working area, as the state is not helping at all. “
I see people working, how many employees do you have and what do they do?
“The people you see do the sorting, separating iron, aluminium, copper, bronze to send to the recycling factory. 14 people work here full-time as sorters, drivers, machine operators and more.”
Is there a reward for whoever brings in their broken appliances?
“There is a small fee, depending on the weight and quality of the metal, but that is not the reason we should recycle. We must realise that we need to recycle, to keep the environment clean and to spare the earth’s resources that we have been plundering for so long. The Earth is a living organisma and carries no useless materials, that’s what really matters.”
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