European network for innovative recovery strategies of rare earth and other Critical metals from electrical and electronic waste
Working Group 6
The activities within WG 6 intend to contribute towards the sustainable recycling of CM, reducing interdependences and mitigating both primary as well as secondary socio-ecological and socioeconomic impacts. The sustainable management of WEEE is of global importance and will contribute to a more sustainable recycling of CM. The recovery and the valorisation of CM comprise the optimisation of WEEE collection systems and the reduction of mislead WEEE streams (mainly export of WEEE to third countries). Consequently this will improve the situation in developing countries, where inadequate treatment of WEEE is often leading to severe environmental and sanitary problems. Nowadays, especially in emerging economies the amount of nationally produced WEEE is increasing, while waste management remains on a basic level and WEEE ends up in the conventional waste disposal pathways. However, due to the higher relative value of the equipment, repairing and reuse are playing an essential role, providing business opportunities and promoting an informal sector, different to the European structures. Hence, a direct transfer of the pan-European solutions does not seem to be applicable.