As many as 7.9 million FM radios in Norway will either be useless or need adapters after the country’s FM network is replaced by DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting). All can be recycled, with no compensation to their owners other than a good environmental conscience, but other solutions are also being sought.
The Center Party, which opposed the shutdown of Norway’s FM network that began this week, has proposed setting up a sort of “deposit and return” system for the radios, even though it’s a bit late now. “In order to keep all these (FM) radios from creating another huge garbage pile of usable electronics, it’s important to see how they can be recirculated,” claimed Anne Tingelstad Wøien of the Center Party.
She intended to ask Climate and Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen to set up a return system to make sure Norway’s old FM radios that can’t be adapted to DAB can instead be used by people in countries where the FM network won’t be shut down. At this point, that’s virtually every other country in the world, pending electricity conversion needs.
“The easiest would be for other countries here in the Nordic area, which aren’t planning to shut down FM, to take over our radios from us,” Wøien told news bureau NTB. She thinks electronics stores selling new DAB radios could, for example, take in customers’ old FM radios and pass them on to environmental or humanitarian organizations.
NRK and Loop, a Norwegian recycling organization, have noted that at least 93 percent of the materials in a radio can be recycled and used for something new. Consumers with old FM radios that can’t be adapated and are no longer usable in Norway can be turned in at recycling stations. It’s likely that other efforts will be made to sell FM radios from Norway in other countries where they could still be used.