Integrating the Supply Chain for the Recovery of Critical Raw Materials from WEEE Event: Full Agenda Announced

Held on Thursday 15th June in Manchester, UK, the full agenda for the conference has now been announced.

This conference aims to assess the barriers to improved recovery and recycling of CRMs throughout the whole supply chain from the logistics of collection to advanced recovery techniques.

Speakers from;

Waste Services North Lincolnshire Council
British Heart Foundation
European Commission

Presentations and panel discussions will provide a key opportunity to discuss the importance of integrating the whole life cycle of reuse and recovery to achieve long term sustainable solutions to the issue of recovery of critical materials from end-of-life products.

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Integrating the Supply Chain for the Recovery of Critical Raw Materials from WEEE Event Announced

The Conference will be held on Thursday 15th June in Manchester, UK, and will include presentations and panel discussions from industry and academic experts.  Delegates will also have the opportunity to visit Axion’s recycling facilities on the 15th June.


Topics to be discussed;

  • Importance of an Integrated Materials Recovery Sector
  • The availability of CRMs in Secondary Raw Materials
  • How can manufacturers support the recovery of CRMs in product design
  • Optimisation of the logistics of collection
  • Extending the life of products to minimise need for new virgin CRMs
  • Advances in the recovery of CRMs


Who should attend?

This conference aims to assess the barriers to improved recovery and recycling of CRMs throughout the whole supply chain from the logistics of collection to advanced recovery techniques.  The conference will be of interest to those responsible for the commissioning and delivery of recycling and waste collections, sustainability managers and experts in multiple industry sectors, and researchers offering advanced recovery options for end of life products.  The presentations and panel discussions will provide a key opportunity to discuss the importance of integrating the whole life cycle of reuse and recovery to achieve long term sustainable solutions to the issue of recovery of critical materials from end-of-life products.


The CRM Recovery project team are organising the event.  It is EU LIFE funded and attendance to the conference is free.

The event will also have space for a limited number of free exhibition stands.  If you are interested in exhibiting, please contact

Register for the event >>

Tender open for European collection and recovery trials of critical raw materials from electrical waste

A maximum of €90,000 is being invested in trials to identify the link between the methods of collection and the successful recovery of critical raw materials from everyday household waste electrical and electronic products.

These trials aim to challenge current WEEE collection mechanisms and test opportunities for increased recovery of target materials graphite, cobalt, antimony, tantalum, rare earths, silver, gold and platinum group metals.

The tender is open now and the trials will focus on the collection of display, ICT, consumer electronics and small household appliances as these are rich in the target materials for recovery.

Proposals are sought from industry stakeholders with expertise in the collection and recovery of WEEE and the drive to challenge current thinking. Suppliers are encouraged to demonstrate the entire collection, re-use and recovery cycle within their tenders. Collection trials must be delivered either in the Czech Republic or Slovakia, and the recovery trials must happen in an EU member state. Bids from single entities or consortia are equally encouraged.

Similar trials are currently operating in the UK and Italy and are a great chance to gain knowledge and to push innovation to improve the collection rates and increase the amount of recovered critical raw materials in Europe. They 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 closing date for applications is Monday the 16th January 2017. Full details can be found on our tenders page.

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.


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 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.

ISWA World Congress – Novi Sad, Serbia 2016

On the 19th of September Keith James (WRAP) presented the Critical Raw Materials project to the ISWA World Congress in Serbia. The presentation encouraged conversations around Intelligent disassembly of PCBs.

The event attracted over 1300 delegates made up of representatives of scientific and expert community, global corporations from this area and political and state officials with over 50 individuals attending the CRM project session.

Electronics Goes Green – Berlin 7th – 9th September

On the 7th of September Malcolm Waddell from WRAP shared the aims of the Critical Raw Materials Closed Loop Recovery (CRM) project which aims to explore the opportunities for harvesting critical raw materials and precious metals including gold, silver and platinum group metals, from everyday unwanted electronic products. The presentation started some interesting questions and debate around the data sources and our reference for the calculation of tonnages.

Just fewer than 400 delegates attended the event from 35 different countries, representing a range of sectors.

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:

Understanding how (W)EEE flows across Europe

A high level European WEEE flows model is being created to help us understand the potential to increase the collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment and the recovery of critical raw materials (CRMs) from these products.

The model is in the early stages of development and is based on currently available country flow data. When updated, it will map out how (W)EEE moves through Europe, highlighting high concentrations of target CRM rich products.

There is a need for us to understand where in Europe products are entering the waste stream and in what quantities to help us use the trials data and outputs effectively.   The model will allow for recommendations to be made on the most effective collection mechanisms to maximise the opportunity and for the development of an infrastructure plan that effectively locates recovery capacity where it is most viable.

The development of the model will be managed by WRAP and delivered by Valpak Consulting with outputs due Autumn 2016.

Critical Raw Material Recovery Networks at EASME WEEE Cluster Meeting

Critical Raw Material Recovery networks at EASME WEEE Cluster MeetingOn 9th June 2016 Lucy Cooper (WRAP) and Susanne Coles (KTN) joined other related EU projects in Brussels to attend an EASME WEEE cluster meeting on harmonising the production and storage of data for WEEE in the urban mine organized by H2020 project ProSUM.

Marco Recchioni (EASME), who introduced the day, was followed by Daniel Cassard (BGRM) leading through the development of the EU-UMKDP and Jaco Huisman (UNU) talking about classifying and characterising the urban mine, work tackled by ProSUM highlighting key issues in developing an INSPIRE compliant knowledge data platform.

Next the LIFE project Critical Raw Material Recovery (Lucy Cooper, WRAP), H2020 project EWIT (Georg Kanitschar, TUW), COST Action ReCreew (Clayton Burger, University of Oldenburg) and H2020 project SMART GROUND (Marco de la Feld, ENCO) shared their approaches and methodologies to characterise EEE, WEEE and waste containing WEEE.

The presentations sparked plenty of discussions between the projects and representatives from DG GROW, DG Env, DG Connect and DG RTD covering aspects such as uniform adaption and long term provision of a single database system and its value to end-users. Several actions were agreed to pave the way for increased collaboration between related projects and with the EC.

If you are interested to find out more please contact