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Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) not only contains valuable materials such as copper, gold and platinum but also pollutants that can harm humans and the environment. It is essential, therefore, that e-waste is handled by professionals – both in industrial nations as well as in the emerging regions around the globe where more and more technology is being used.
WEEE is one of the fastest-growing waste streams world-wide. Forecasts suggest that 49.8m tonnes of old electrical and electronic appliances will be discarded this year – 50% more than in 2010. Raw materials worth billions of euros are hiding in this gigantic mountain of waste electrical and electronic equipment.
Recovering these materials not only preserves their value. It also helps to conserve our planet’s natural resources, provides a reliable source of raw materials and reduces consumption of fossil fuels. REMONDIS has been operat-ing WEEE dismantling centres for almost 30 years now. With its high recycling rates, the company recovers glass and plastics as well as ferrous and non-ferrous metals. In many cases, these recycled materials can be used by manufacturers as they are – further treatment processes are not necessary. Other valuable substances are prepared for further treatment so that they can be reused. Pollutants are carefully removed and sent to special treatment or disposal plants. The WEEE and RoHS Directives regulate how e-waste is handled in the EU, whose member states are among the world’s biggest producers of waste electrical and electronic equipment. Despite these directives, however, large volumes of European e-waste still slip past the various collection and recycling schemes because they are lying at the back of a drawer, end up in the residual waste bin or are exported illegally. The damage to the EU’s economy caused by the improper handling of e-waste is estimated to be between 800 mil-lion and 1.7 billion euros.
REMONDIS Electrorecycling not only uses high tech to recover raw materials and remove pollutants from e-waste, it also offers bespoke collection and take-back schemes. Its core activities here include material flow management, monitoring systems, certificates and documentation – adapted, of course, to meet the individual regulatory requirements of each different country
Lünen, Neumünster, Berlin, Buseck