Effective WEEE recycling could generate billions
An award-winning research paper published by the University of Sheffield has revealed that, if Europe was to recycle WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) more effectively, the market could be worth up to €3.7bn.
The report – ‘Recycling of WEEEs: an economic assessment of present and future e-waste streams’ – analysed the potential revenues that could be generated when recovering valuable materials, including precious metals, from 14 electronic appliances. Findings showed that the market, which was had already grown to an impressive €2.15bn last year, could rocket to €3.7bn by 2020.
This financial forecasting is particularly interesting, especially given recent UNTHA UK’s advice to consider the waste and recycling industry more in terms of pounds and pence. The environmental risks associated with poor WEEE handling are well documented, and should, quite rightly, be acknowledged and addressed.
However, with the development of new electronic items continuing apace, and the volumes of WEEE arisings continuing to grow, further action is required, and fast. In June, our online poll revealed the UK is not doing enough to tackle WEEE. Perhaps if more people realised the unmistakeable wealth in WEEE, we’d see further progress.
For further information about the WEEE landscape in the UK and wider Europe, or to understand how you could achieve more effective WEEE recycling, download this free factsheet – Tackling WEEE: How can we help?