Pick-up obligation

ElektroG determines the procedure to define the pick-up obligations that the registered producers/authorised representatives are subject to. This is purely valid for electrical and electronical waste equipment from private households that can be returned by the residents via a communal collection. The pick-up obligations are valid throughout the complete area of the Federal Republic of Germany.

For historic waste equipment, meaning such waste equipment  that had already been placed on the market prior to entry into force of the ElektroG regarding the specific equipment type, the calculation of each producer’s/authorised representative’s obligation is made according to the proportion of the weight of electrical and electronic equipment per type of equipment placed on the market by the producer in the respective report period. 

When calculating the pick-up obligation for waste equipment placed on the market before the entry into force of the ElektroG for them (so-called historic waste equipment, see), ElektroG allows the producer/authorised representative to choose between individual and proportionate take-back.  

  1. With individual take-back, the take-back obligation is measured by their proportion of unequivocally identifiable waste equipment of the total waste equipment amounts for each type of equipment; the proportion is to be proven by sorting, or according to scientifically recognised statistical methods. 
  2. With proportionate take-back, the producer’s/authorised representative’s take-back obligation is measured by the total weight of electrical and electronic equipment per type of equipment that has been placed on the market in the respective report time period by the producers who have chosen this calculation method. 

A procedure called pick-up coordination is used to calculate the producer-individual pick-up obligations:

‘The Gemeinsame Stelle (stiftung ear) calculates the timely and locally balanced distribution of the pick-up obligations to all registered producers/authorised representatives on the basis of a scientifically recognized calculation method which has been confirmed by an independent expert’s report.’


Stiftung ear receives reports from the different public-law disposal authorities’ (‘örE’) handover sites on the reached minimum pick-up amount for a collection group that has to be picked up and provided (§ 14 paragraph 3 ElektroG). The respective report by the örE by the coincidental occurrence both of the time and the pick-up site of the waste equipment volume to be picked up and provided. Thereby ensuring a legally determined and locally even distribution.

The report is sent directly to the ear data centre. The producer/authorised representative that has the highest pick-up obligation is then calculated using an algorithm according to § 31 paragraph 5 ElektroG. This producer/authorised representative is sent an administrative act for a pick-up order.

The respective producer/authorised representative must ensure the timely pick-up; if necessary by passing the order on to a disposal service provider.

The attachments named in the ‘Calculation assessment’ are not published here.

Assessment confirms the ear-system’s compliance with the legal conditions

In the course of consequent system monitoring and revision, stiftung ear ordered a ‘Revision of data constellation and calculations for pick-up coordination’. That was the first time that the pick-up numbers for a complete calendar year were available without falsifying influences from the start of the legal obligations. And on this basis it was possible, for the first time, to proceed with a study of (anonymized) real data. Stiftung ear constantly proceeds with system monitoring and, if necessary, revision.

Prof. Dr. of Engineering H. Doedens, formerly of the Institute of Compound Water Management and Waste Technology (Institut für Siedlungswasserwirtschaft und Abfalltechnik) at the University of Hanover, Germany, was responsible for the revision process. The procedure and results from April 24th, 2009, are published below. Although ElektroG puts the calculation of the so-called pick-up coordination explicitly in the private range of stiftung ear (=Gemeinsame Stelle), the revision is being published, as it has frequently been asked for.

Especially the frequent claim that smaller and medium sized companies are at a disadvantage, can once and for all be refuted. Prof. Dr.of Engineering Doedens explicitly points out that ‘false entries are an important cause for pick-up obligations that do not seem plausible to outsiders and for criticism of the ear system’. Stiftung ear has now already established extensive control mechanisms – and is constantly checking on the effectiveness of these mechanisms – to correct false entries as quickly as possible. This requires the cooperation of all producers; the system depends on correct data entries.

Since the revision, stiftung ear has implemented the optimizations in the ear system that Prof. Dr. of Engineering Doedens suggested. This implementation has again been tested and certified by experts. The additional certification by Professor Dr. of Engineering B. Gallenkemper and Dr. rer. Nat. R. Runge is published below.