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WEEE RECYCLING AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

WEEE RECYCLING AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

In this modern age, technology rules the world. We’re all glued to our smartphones, most people work from a laptop and spend their evenings in front of the TVs, yet, the lifecycle of electrical equipment is only getting shorter. We regularly upgrade these phones and opt for larger TVs, but what exactly happens to our old products? 

WEEE RECYCLING STATISTICS

It is estimated that in 2021, the total amount of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) worldwide will reach an estimated 57.4 million tonnes – greater than the weight of the Great Wall of China, Earth’s heaviest artificial object. 

Whilst this figure is staggering, what is truly concerning is that only 20% of this is formally recycled, yet did you know that through recycling Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), it is possible to extract value from the waste material left behind from reprocessing?

WHY RECYCLE?

WEEE that is not recycled often finds its way into landfill or ends up being incinerated. At this stage, it is worth noting that these outcomes can result in the release of dangerous pollutants and toxins, harmful to the environment or water systems. In fact, in Europe it is actually unlawful for businesses to dispose of their E-Waste incorrectly, often resulting in a large fine, or even imprisonment.

By recycling this material, we are not only avoiding financial punishment and helping reduce the quantities of materials ending up in landfill, but we are also helping to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a Circular Economy.

ADDED VALUE IN WEEE

There are benefits to recycling your E-Waste too. WEEE can contain a host of extremely useful or valuable trace elements and metals. For instance, according to the EPA, for every million mobile phones that are recycled, 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.

These metals are highly sought-after infeed for smelters and therefore carry the potential for further use, and further revenue at the end-of-life stage.

ANALYSIS OF YOUR WEEE WASTE

If you’re a business that recycles or processes WEEE and are looking to find out the contents of your WEEE waste material, a comprehensive chemical analysis can help establish metal contents and facilitate settlement of payable metals.

In order to understand the true composition of your WEEE waste material, chemical analysis is required. Through a comprehensive suite of analytical testing, you can prove with accuracy the levels of precious metals within your material for supply.

COME FIND US AT E-WASTE WORLD

Alfred H Knight will be in attendance at E-Waste World Conference & Expo 2021 taking part in Frankfurt, Germany from 30th November to 1st December.

If you’re attending the event, come find us for a friendly chat about your WEEE and how you can find further value in the waste material left behind following the recycling process.

Find out more about the event here.