stiftung ear in Nuremberg (Bavaria) is the German Clearing House (Gemeinsame Stelle der Hersteller) according to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (). stiftung ear was founded by producers in context with the implementation of the the European Union's directive to reduce the evergrowing amount of waste from electrical and electronic goods that are no longer in use, that is in short the WEEE directive, in national law.
The German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt - UBA) decided on October 24th, 2015, to grant the stiftung ear sovereign rights stated in the ElektroG. The notice as of July 6th, 2015 – except sections (e) and (f) which stay in force until December 31st, 2016 - was repealed by the notice as of October 24th, 2015. The stiftung ear protects the fair implementation of the ElektroG, as it performs the following functions and powers:
- Registration of producers that place electrical and electronic equipment on the market in Germany, resp. in case of authorisation according to § 8 ElektroG of their authorised representatives
- Guarantee check
- Assessment of collective producer-guarantee-systems
- Data collection of the amounts of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market
- Coordination of the provision of containers for public exchange facilities and the take-back of waste electrical and electronic equipments at the public waste disposal authorities (örE)
- Collection of fees for public services provided by stiftung ear
Operational tasks, such as the taking-back of electrical and electronic waste and disposal, or logistics, sorting, dismantling and recycling, are not performed by stiftung ear. The producers have been responsible for this themselves since March 24th, 2006. They are economically and functionally responsible for the recycling and disposal of electrical and electronic waste. The collection of electrical and electronic waste is executed by the communities, which have been doing so for many years and have always provided take back sites.
stiftung ear is run exclusively to cover the costs, explicitly without realisation of profits and is both economically and personnelly independent. Its work is financed by fees which are determined by the cost regulation by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).