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 susanne.coles@ktn-uk.org.

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

Recently on Edie.net – a blog by Scott Butler (ERP) on Critical Raw Material Recovery

News3-ERPYou may be seeing a bit more of project partner Scott Butler (regional director for the UK & Ireland at ERP) in the coming weeks and months, with Scott now a regular blogger on Edie.net.

The first blog from 5 November 2015 focuses on raw materials and our Critical Raw Material Recovery project – Thanks Scott!

Read on Raw materials: Not the next gold rush, but…

Launch of LIFE funded projects

LifePNGGeorgina Taylor (WRAP) presented the Critical Raw Material Recovery project at the recent launch of work funded by the EU LIFE programme. This accompanies a recent announcement by the European Commission that 96 projects out of over 1000 applications have been approved for co-funding through the LIFE programme with a total investment of €160.6 million.  The Critical Raw Material Recovery project joins 5o other projects, that will be realised thanks to the LIFE Environment & Resource Efficiency component of the overall programme. Read more…

The list and descriptions of the 96 approved projects is available at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-6082_en.htm

Wuppertal Institute at Workshop: Rückgewinnung von Edel- und Sondermetallen

News1-WIWuppertal Institute used the opportunity to present the objectives and approach of the Critical Raw Material Recovery project at a workshop on recovery of precious and special metals that took place in Berlin on 02 November 2015. The workshop was organised by the German Environment Protection Agency (UBA) and offered various opportunities to interlink the project with other ongoing activities and institutions in this field.

See also: “Recycling precious and special metals: a call for coordinated action”

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.

LIFE funding obtained for Critical Raw Material Recovery

News2-WRAPCritical Raw Material Recovery in the press – a recent press release by Project Coordinator WRAP announces receipt of €2.1 million funding by the European Commission through the EU LIFE programme, which will see the Critical Raw Material Recovery project come to life. Over the next 3.5 years project partners WRAP, EARN, ERP UK Ltd, KTN and Wuppertal Institute will work together on exploring commercial opportunities for harvesting critical raw materials from unwanted electronic consumer products. By linking waste collection methods with advanced CRM recovery technology the project aims to boost the recovery of a range of CRMs by 5% by 2020.