WEEE RECYCLING AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY
In this modern age, technology rules the world. We’re all glued to our smartphones and 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 around 50 million tonnes of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) is generated every year, more than the weight of all of the commercial aeroplanes ever made. If nothing changes, this could more than double by 2050.
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?
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 looking to find out the contents of your WEEE waste material, a comprehensive chemical analysis can help establish metal contents and facilitate the 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.
HOW CAN AHK HELP?
For over 140 years, Alfred H Knight has provided expert sampling and analytical services to the metals and minerals sector. We utilise this experience to help organisations to determine the composition of their WEEE for commercial settlement.
If you would like to discuss your WEEE with an expert and see how you can find further value in the waste material left behind following the recycling process, get in touch today.