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ECO POINT – New recycling taxes and fines

In this new series from The Resident, ECO POINT will look into Portugal’s stance on recycling – what is recycled, how it is recycled and what policies the government has introduced to increase awareness about recycling and how they will help to bring Portugal up to speed on environmental issues.

Since May 2006, a new law has been introduced. Under this new law, individuals and companies will be heavily fined by their local câmara if they are caught dumping any electrical item in an area that has not been designated for that purpose.

Recycling taxes have been added to every purchase of an electrical item and can vary between a few cents to 40 euros, depending on the size of the item. Under the new law, when it is necessary to dispose of the electrical product, there are three options. The first is to take the item directly to a central recycling centre (a list of these is available from your local câmara), the second is to contact the câmara to arrange for them to collect it themselves, but it is very likely that there will be long delays for collection, and the third choice is to ask the store where you purchase the new item from to take the old item away when the new one is being delivered. There is no extra charge for this service, as the consumer will have already paid for it when the electrical item was purchased, but, as a precaution, it is advisable to retain the receipt as proof of purchase.

The new law includes fines ranging from 250 to 3,700 euros to individuals found illegally dumping electrical goods in or next to rubbish bins, while companies could face fines of up to 44,800 euros.

The Portuguese government has finally realised the detrimental effect that dumping electrical goods has on the land – it not only pollutes the earth, but is also visual pollution. The Resident will be looking into this over the following weeks in the next ECO POINT article.