How to get the most out of e-waste recycling - WEEE?

  • 23/03/2022
  • Spain

A few weeks ago we talked about the boom in electronic waste and how this posed a great challenge for the recycling industry due to its unstoppable growth. Today we continue on this theme by talking about the recycling process of waste electrical and electronic equipment or WEEE. 

Did you know that approximately 70% of each of these devices can be reused and turned into a raw material? In order to get the most out of these materials and recycle them correctly, the following steps are generally followed:

•    Collection and transport of the waste to treatment plants for these materials, as well as their storage. 

•    Identification, weighing and documentation of the waste in order to be able to carry out the best possible follow-up of the recycling process. 

•    Dismantling, decontamination and manual separation of the different components and materials that make up the equipment. 

•    Mechanical treatment of waste/ fragmentation: waste that is not dismantled manually is crushed and separated using machinery: plastics, ferrous waste, non-ferrous waste, light waste (fluff) or glass.

•    Smelting, for the recovery of metal components.

•    Chemical recycling, to recover precious metals that can be found on printed circuit boards.

•    Division and creation of new products: in this step, new products are valorised and generated, thus reaching the end of the process. 

Recovery and reuse in the field of WEEE through authorised waste managers is absolutely essential to be able to cope with the exponential growth of this waste.  Not only because recycling is an indisputable necessity for the environment, but also because it is necessary to make our society's economy as sustainable as possible. 

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