Next Phase Of WEEE Recovery Research Project Underway

Axion Consulting is embarking on the next phase of a major European research project into the recovery of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).

For the first half of the project Axion has worked with three partners to run collection trials of unwanted data-bearing devices, such as PCs, tablets, laptops and smartphones across the north of England in High Street and charity stores.

The collection trials have been operational in 10 stores working with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Currys PC World and John Lewis. Some of the collection trials will continue until August.

Axion’s Principal Consultant Jane Gardner will provide updates on these collection trials and report on how their involvement in project’s next phase, which started in May 2017, will focus on sorting, separation and recovery of CRMs from dismantled devices.

“This exciting project seeks to improve understanding, not just of consumer behaviour in recycling and reusing these devices, but also how we can recover valuable materials from them in an economically viable and efficient way.”

She explained: “This exciting project seeks to improve understanding, not just of consumer behaviour in recycling and reusing these devices, but also how we can recover valuable materials from them in an economically viable and efficient way.”

The trials are part of the Critical Raw Materials Recovery project, which is supported by the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union, Innovate UK, the Welsh Government and Defra, and led by WRAP in the UK.

The outputs from the trials will inform policy recommendation throughout the EU.

Project partners include the European Recycling Platform (ERP), the European Advanced Recycling Network (EARN), the Wuppertal Institute and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN).

Germany and Italy are also involved in the three-and-a-half-year sustainability project targeting an increase in recovery of rare metals from products such as consumer electronics, ICT equipment and small household appliances. WRAP research has found that almost 40% of electrical products go to landfill.

As part of the project, the resource recovery specialist will be speaking and exhibiting at a one-day conference, “Integrating the Supply Chain for the Recovery of Critical Raw Materials from WEEE”, organised by Knowledge Transfer Network in Manchester on June 15th.


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