Disruptive Innovation Festival

A Second LIFE for Critical Raw Materials: Podcast Session, 19th November 2018

Citizens across the EU are often unaware of how to correctly deposit their unwanted electrical items. Many are also reluctant to hand over their data-bearing devices due to data security concerns, so many items suitable for re-use are likely to be hoarded at home. Furthermore, although certain valuable materials (e.g. aluminium and copper) are recovered in the recycling of WEEE, many CRMs are not, and are lost from the system forever.

As part of the Disruptive Innovation Festival, this podcast session – to be released on the 19th November –  will consider how public involvement can support, enhance and potentially revolutionise the collection and recovery of CRMs from WEEE. Speakers include the following representatives from the CRM Recovery project: Carl Nichols, Bettina Gilbert, Norah Lewis, Charlotte Budd, Sven Grieger and Darren Hill.

The podcast will give you a glimpse into project activities and recommendations ahead of the final conference event on the 20th February.

Tune into the podcast here.

Or Register for the London event on the 20th February here.

A Second Life for Critical Raw Materials

Booking is now open for a free conference – ‘A Second LIFE for Critical Raw Materials’ – in London on 20 February 2019.

Delegates will learn about the CRM Recovery project’s collaborative collection and recovery trials across the UK, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic.  Furthermore, there will be presentations and discussions regarding the project’s policy and infrastructure recommendations, plus EU policy perspectives from the European Commission.

An interactive, innovative and informative event programme has been curated, based on three key themes:

  1. How do we increase the collection and recovery of CRMs from WEEE?
  2. How are organisations approaching these challenges across Europe?
  3. How do we work together to establish an effective supply chain?

Businesses, funding bodies and research organisations with an interest in the recovery of valuable CRMs are invited to attend.  To secure a free place at the event, you can register here.  Tickets are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis.

CRM Recovery Release a first look at our policy recommendations as part of the First International E-Waste Day

The very first International E-waste Day was held on the 13 October 2018 in Europe and globally. Developed by the WEEE Forum with the support of 25 not-for-profit e-waste companies in 19 different countries across the world, it was used to raise the public profile of e-waste recycling and encourage consumers to recycle their e-waste with the resulting increase in e-waste recycling rates on the day itself and into the future.

CRM Recovery took part in the awareness raising activities via Twitter and released a first sighting of the project’s policy recommendations. Take a look at them here.

CRM Recovery to take part in the First International E-Waste Day

International E-Waste_Social Media_Forum_Grn_AWThe very first International E-waste Day will be held this year! This exciting initiative will take place on the 13 October 2018 in Europe and globally. Developed by the WEEE Forum with the support of 25 not-for-profit e-waste companies in 19 different countries across the world, it is being used to raise the public profile of e-waste recycling and encourage consumers to recycle their e-waste with the resulting increase in e-waste recycling rates on the day itself and into the future.

Join us on Twitter to help spread the word!

Take Back and Incentivised Return Trials in Northern England Result in Great Returns on WEEE Collection

As part of the EU LIFE funded Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery project, circular economy specialist Axion partnered with renowned brands, British Heart Foundation, Dixons Carphone and John Lewis, to develop and deliver WEEE collection trials across the North of England.

Using both retail take-back and incentive return schemes the trials targeted high value IT equipment and consumer electronics, resulting in over 300 items collected and over £2,000 raised for the British Heart Foundation.

Items targeted for collection during the trial were those not generally disposed of via typical collection and recovery channels, often due to concerns around data security (e.g. laptops, PCs, tablets, cameras, games consoles and DVD / Blu-Ray players). Results from the trial indicated that partnering with such well known and trusted organisations helped the public to overcome data security fears and encouraged donations and returns.

Bettina Gilbert, Programme Manager for WRAP Cymru said “We are delighted with the results of this trial, which used a collaborative approach to successfully increase the collection of WEEE, has demonstrated commercial benefits, and resulted in the recovery of additional critical raw materials from the waste stream”.

Each year millions of tonnes of WEEE is generated in the EU, but only 30% is reported as properly collected and recycled. The EU LIFE funded Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery project is investing in trials exploring novel ways of boosting the recovery of critical raw materials (CRMs) from household waste electrical and electronic products (WEEE). The Critical Raw Materials Closed Loop Recovery Project aims to increase the recovery of target CRMs by 5% by 2020 and by 20% by 2030.

The collection and recovery trials were 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, the Welsh Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), 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).

Full details of the Axion-led take back and incentivised return trials can be found in the latest case study to be released, available here.

Understanding how (W)EEE Flows Across Europe: Model Completed

The Critical Raw Material Recovery project is pleased to announce reaching an important milestone with the completion of a high level European WEEE flows model.

weee-flows-model

The model was developed to support the Critical Raw Material Recovery project in identifying suitable locations for infrastructure development opportunities and to support the development of policy recommendations.

The key objectives of the European (W)EEE flows model project were to:

  • Develop a European WEEE flows model using currently available, country specific, models and data,
  • Enable model interrogation on a country level,
  • Establish a complete dataset using extrapolation and estimation to fill gaps where necessary,
  • Facilitate identification of intervention points for increased collection of WEEE and new collection and recovery infrastructure.

The model developed covers all 28 EU countries and uses two key datasets: EC “Study on Collection Rates of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)” and Eurostat, with a methodology able to fill any data gaps resulting in a comprehensive model.

The model allows data interrogation by a number of “flow points”, e.g. waste collected, re-used or recycled, for a range of product categories at an individual country level or across the whole EU. It also allows comparisons of tonnage of WEEE at different flow points across the whole WEEE journey.

The development of the model was managed by WRAP and delivered by Valpak Consulting.

Going forward, the project will use the model, in combination with data generated from ongoing WEEE collection and recovery trials, to build an European WEEE infrastructure plan and policy recommendations.

Please contact criticalrawmaterialrecovery@wrap.org.uk with any queries.

CRM Recovery Awarded Raw Material Commitment Status by European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials

The Critical Raw Material Recovery Project has recently been awarded Raw Material Commitment status by the European Innovation Partnership (EIP), joining 122 other projects from more than 50 different countries.

Playing a central role in the EU’s raw materials policy framework the EIP on Raw Materials brings together representatives from industry, public services, academia and NGOs. With an aim to help raise industry’s contribution to the EU GDP to around 20% by 2020, the EIP’s commitments are essential to achieve the objectives set out in the EIP’s Strategic Implementation Plan. These joint undertakings by several partners commit to carry out activities that will contribute to the EIP’s actions and targets, delivering tangible results such as innovative actions or pilots, strategic documents or knowledge sharing activities.

Over the coming months the Critical Raw Material Recovery Project will be looking to grow the Raw Material Commitment partnership and welcomes any expressions of interest to join the project network.

For a full list of the recognised Raw Materials Commitments, click here.

Trials begin for collection and recovery of critical raw materials from electrical waste

Following a competitive tender exercise, the Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery project has announced that Axion Consulting and Re-Tek from the UK, together with Ecodom from Italy, will be funded to trial novel ways of boosting the recovery of critical raw materials (CRMs) from household waste electrical and electronic products (WEEE).

The CRM collection mechanisms include retailer take-back schemes, reuse containers at household waste recycling centres, business collections, university drop-off hubs, school collections and other collection events.

With a focus on the recovery of cobalt, antimony, graphite, tantalum, rare earth elements, gold, silver, platinum group metals and copper, the trials will study the potential for range of techniques from manual and chemical dismantling to electrochemical and hydrometallurgical processes, to  increase recovery of Critical Raw Materials.

The EU LIFE funded Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery project is investing over €400,000 in these trials to help boost the recovery of CRMs from discarded household products such as small appliances and electronic devices.

The trials will start during July 2016 and will be completed by 30 June 2018. Further trials in Germany and Turkey are anticipated to run later this year.

Jane Gardner of Axion Consulting said:
“Axion Consulting is very pleased to be involved in this project working with a strong consortium of partners including DixonsCarphone, DHL EnviroSolutions, E3 Recycling Ltd and ITRI Ltd. We are looking forward to working with our partners to trial different ways to engage with consumers to encourage them to return WEEE to retailers, and measure the impact this has on the volume and quality of material collected. The WEEE collected will then be processed using technologies which are at the forefront of CRM recovery techniques.”

Re-tek said:
“Re-tek and our Collaboration partners, Enscape Consultancy and University of West of Scotland are delighted to have secured funding to participate in the WEEE Collection and CRM recover Trials.
The award recognises the strength of the entire team and reflects the benefit of collaborative working where each organisation is using its expertise to create an innovative way to capture and extract.
Successful collection and extraction methods during the trial will advance the opportunity to recover Cobalt, Gold and Silver from ICT products for re-use activities helping to create a more sustainable supply. The team will be happy to hear from local authorities, educational establishments, companies (private and third sector) interested in collaborating with us on this exciting programme.”

Ecodom said:
“Ecodom is proud to bring its contribute to the evaluation of the opportunities to increase Critical Raw Materials (CRM) recovery from WEEE, by implementing the Italian collection trials in Milano.
These trials will focus on the small electronic appliances, which will be collected in a smarter way: the equipment containing CRM will be concentrated in specific flows, avoiding cherry picking of components and damage of the appliances, in order also to investigate the potential for reuse.”

Each year around 9.9 million tonnes of 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 CRMs 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, the Welsh Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), 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).

View further details about the tender awards and the CRM Closed Loop Recovery project: http://www.criticalrawmaterialrecovery.eu

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: http://www.criticalrawmaterialrecovery.eu/tenders

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: criticalrawmaterialrecovery@wrap.org.uk

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 criticalrawmaterialrecovery@wrap.org.uk

The presentation delivered on the day is available here