United Kingdom – UK-based Axion Consulting is embarking on the next phase of a major European research project into the recovery of critical raw materials (CRMs) from waste electrical and electronic equipment.
For the first half of the project, Axion has worked with three partners to run collection trials in High Street and charity stores in the north of England, involving unwanted data-bearing devices such as PCs, tablets, laptops and smartphones. The trials have taken place in 10 stores, working with the British Heart Foundation, Currys, PC World and John Lewis. Some of the collection trials will continue until August.
‘This exciting project seeks to improve understanding, not just of consumer behaviour in recycling and reusing these devices, but also how we can recover valuable materials from them in an economically viable and efficient way,’ explains Axion’s principal consultant Jane Gardner.
Project partners include the European Recycling Platform, the European Advanced Recycling Network, the Wuppertal Institute and the Knowledge Transfer Network.
Germany and Italy are also involved in the three-and-a-half-year sustainability project targeting an increase in recovery of rare metals from products such as consumer electronics, ICT equipment and small household appliances. Research has found that almost 40% of electrical products go to landfill.