Cycles in the electrical and electronics industry: a closed circuit

Closing the cycle brings in many economic advantages. But (due to their activity), take-back systems also create ecological and social value (focus on engaging persons from the labour market in operations).
Mathias Fahy

Strategic challenge

European laws make it mandatory for manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) to take back equipments on reaching the waste stage (WEEE). Manufacturers jointly undertake this responsibility and organise collective take-backs to ensure closure of the cycle efficiently and with the best possible quality. For many years now, Möbius has been a trusted partner to a wide range of European WEEE take-back systems (including Wecycle, Recupel, Eco-Systèmes, etc.).

Take-back systems are active in all forms of “circularity”. Both in prevention, collection, collaboration with recycling centres (reuse – refurbishment), and of course in recycling itself, as well.

Closing the cycle brings in many economic advantages. But (due to their activity), take-back systems also create ecological and social value (focus on engaging persons from the labour market in operations).


Business model & strategy

Möbius helps take-back systems find appropriate business models: which fractions do we collect and which not (product point of view), and in what manner, depending on the cost? How do we align our service provision to the requirements of our members (customer standpoint)? How should we determine our pricing policy (price standpoint?), and what are our core activities? What should we do and what should we not do?

  • Recupel offers a solution for household WEEE, but would also like to investigate the business model for a specific solution for professional electronic waste.
  • Recytyre has been searching for the correct strategic positioning as a take-back system for tyres: Active/reactive player? Core activities?

Collection and (take-back) logistics

Logistics in circular and recycling organisations takes the form of take-back logistics: collecting waste from various points and transporting it to a common location, and differs from traditional logistics in a fundamental manner. Möbius’s greatest skills are in physical distribution, network design and optimisation with a view to organising take-back logistics with the highest possible quality, efficiency and effectiveness.

Möbius helped Wecycle and Recupel generate ideas on innovative collection methods (synthetron exercises, focus groups, brainstorming, etc.), and to evaluate feasibility (business case) and to draw up an implementation plan.

Möbius helped various organizations in logistics modelling and optimisation at the strategic, tactical and operational levels (Asekol, Ecologic, Recupel).Möbius also provides support for the periodic tendering process of Wecycle, to help select the most appropriate logistic partners.

Internal organisation

Take-back systems function as orchestrators for entire take-back system chains, and achieve cooperation by continuously guaranteeing full chain transparency (in terms of volumes processed, transportation, etc.). This places a high emphasis on the internal organisation for registration, IT and reporting.

  • Möbius helped Recupel set up a “business intelligence” platform for communication and reporting to key stakeholders.
  • Möbius helped Wecycle formulate its long-term IT strategy and set up an IT roadmap.


For many years now, Möbius has been a reliable partner in various European take-back systems that may be regarded as “market leaders”. Together, we aim to achieve a step by step professionalisation of the chain, which will lead to:

Increase in the collection volume

Take-back systems in Europe are the highest performing in the entire world, and continuous efforts will ensure the achievement of the new national collection targets of 10 kg/capita (laid down by the revised WEEE directive).

Perceptible improvement in recycling results

  • Take-back systems ensure that increasingly lower amounts of waste are dumped or irresponsibly recycled.
  • The best-in-class take-back systems achieve astounding material utilisation levels (of up to 100%) – well above the legal requirements.

Keeping costs under control

Möbius always ensures the maximum possible efficiency in organising the take-back system chain, both as regards collection, logistics, sorting, as well as the internal organisation of the take-back system itself.

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