European project launches tender to improve collection and recovery of critical raw materials from electrical waste

More than €660,000 is being invested in trials to identify the link between the methods of collection and the successful recovery of critical raw materials from household waste electrical and electronic products.

The Collect and Recovery trial tender is open now. Suppliers are encouraged to demonstrate the entire collection, reuse and recovery cycle within their tenders. Collection trials must be delivered in the UK, Germany, Italy or Turkey, and the recovery trials must happen in an EU member state. Bids from single entities or consortia are equally encouraged. Closing date for applications is 7 April 2016.

Full details on the eligibility criteria, scope and timescales can be found on the project website:

Each year around 9.9 million tonnes of Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) are generated in the EU, but only 30% is reported as properly collected and recycled. The Critical Raw Materials Closed Loop Recovery Project aims to increase the recovery of target critical raw materials by 5% by 2020 and by 20% by 2030.

The collection and recovery trials are the first stage in the €2.1m, three-and-a-half-year project, which is supported by the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union, Innovate UK and the Welsh Government, and led by WRAP. 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).

Marcus Gover, Director, WRAP said:

“WRAP research has shown that in the UK alone, we dispose of around 1.4 million tonnes of electrical and electronic products per year, and nearly 40% of this is landfilled. Yet these products contain precious metals and critical raw materials such as gold and platinum, which are essential components of many household technology products and appliances. Economically and environmentally, it makes no sense to be burying them. Ensuring we have effective ways to recover valuable materials is crucial, so these trials are an important step in the development of the project.”

Scott Butler, UK and Ireland Regional Director, ERP said:

“The Critical Raw Material Recovery project is a major R&D project that will allow us to assess whether we can get more value from the WEEE that is collected and treated across Europe and explore further opportunities for improving the collection of end-of-life products. The benefits from these trials could have major benefits for producers and the circular economy, as well as the environment and society as a whole.”

Kai Kramer, Manager WEEE Operations, EARN said:

“The trials will be a unique opportunity to build synergies by sharing the experiences of collection and recovery activities by various actors in different countries. This would be a great chance to gain knowledge and to push innovation to improve the collection rates and to increase the amount of recovered critical raw materials in Europe.”

The Knowledge Transfer Network’s (KTN) Head of Sustainability and Resource Efficiency, Steve Fletcher said:

“KTN is proud to be a partner in the Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery project. Proposals are sought from industry stakeholders with expertise in the collection and recovery of WEEE and the drive to challenge current thinking. The open tender process will offer all those with the right knowledge and expertise the chance to take part in these exciting trials.”

For further information about the Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery project, please contact:

Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery Stakeholder Meeting

The first stakeholder meeting was held in Cardiff on the 26th January 2016. The group includes industry experts across Europe, from throughout the electricals supply chain. The stakeholders will be a sounding board for the ongoing development of the project.

The meeting engaged and informed them about the project objectives and gathered their support and insight. This will ensure that the project delivers the needs of industry.

The stakeholders enjoyed a lively debate about the potential of the project and the challenges of delivering an ambitious programme. If you are interested in becoming a member of the group and are able to commit to supporting the project, please do get in touch at

The presentation delivered on the day is available here

WRAP’s Lucy Cooper at LARAC

News4-LARACOn 15 October 2015 WRAP’s own Lucy Cooper took the stage at LARAC 2015 to talk about her work on collection and reuse of WEEE. Lucy took the opportunity to introduce the Critical Raw Material Recovery project to the audience outlining how the project will analyse the link between collection of electricals and the potential for product reuse and recycling.

Read on to find out more about LARAC and the 2015 Conference.