Giorgio Arienti, General Manager, ECODOM
Project: Operational management
Solution: Creation of a software system based on J2EE technology
Italian Legislative Decree 151/05 defines a new regulatory and operational framework for managing Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). The central core of the Decree is the definition of the criterion of responsibility for manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment in its disposal. The consequent obligation is that of organizing and managing a system for recycling products issued onto the market which have reached the end of their lifespan, proportionally to the market share they represent, by means of Collective Systems. Manufacturers are therefore responsible for the following:
- picking up WEEE from Collection Centres
- transporting and depositing these at treatment plants
- recycling and recovering the materials
- disposing of the non-recyclable components in a completely secure manner for the environment and human health.
The regulation also lays down precise recycling objectives in relation to weight and establishes manufacturers' involvement in monitoring and controlling the progress of the recycling activities. In order to be able to comply with these new obligations, manufacturers have the possibility of asking for an "eco-fee" at the time of sale of an electromagnetic appliance, to be used exclusively for the withdrawal, transport and treatment of the WEEE they are responsible for. ECODOM is a collective system comprising manufacturers of large domestic appliances (washing machines, dishwashers, cooker extractor-hoods, ovens, fridges, air conditioners and water heaters) for the purpose of complying with the legal obligations. However, the consortium's intention right from the start was not to limit itself to a passive compliance with the regulation, but it interpreted WEEE management as a strategic option for the country's sustainable development.
ECODOM set itself the aim of combining environmental excellence with efficiency in WEEE treatment processes. These objectives could be achieved on the one hand by applying to the best specialist operators present on the market, and on the other, by measuring the results obtained. This involved managing new information processes, and ECODOM had the support of Beta 80 Group for these. Systems for treated WEEE traceability and monitoring of quantities of recycled raw and secondary materials were created.
Bearing in mind the need to manage processes and information in the light of new regulations and also the substantially new character of the business, the best solution proved to be the introduction of an operational management system developed from scratch, to respond completely to the consortium's needs. Beta 80 Group created the ECODOM operational management system with J2EE technology, taking advantage wherever possible of opensource software such as Apache, Postgress and Jasper Reports. Frameworks such as Struts and Hibernate were used to produce the system.