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Selected Publication:

Salhofer, S; Steuer, B; Ramusch, R; Beigl, P.
(2016): WEEE management in Europe and China - A comparison
WASTE MANAGE. 2016; 57: 27-35. FullText FullText_BOKU

Over the last years Europe and China have developed specific regulations to address the challenge of managing Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Households in todayxxxs urban China are similarly equipped with electrical and electronic appliances as households in European metropolitan areas, which in turn will lead to similar per capita generation rates in WEEE. While the challenge is a similar one, the systems, technologies and legislation in place in Europe and China are partly different, partly aligned to each other. In Europe WEEE collection is based on existing municipal structures. Additionally, retail and other take-back channels are in place. In China the informal sector dominates WEEE collection, being more competitive and flexible and offering pecuniary reimbursement to consumers. In Europe manual dismantling as a first treatment step has been gradually replaced by mechanical break up of appliances, followed by sorting out of hazardous and valuable components. In the subsequent second treatment level, cathode ray tubes are separated, whereby compound materials like motors and coils are mechanically treated, printed circuit boards go to special smelters, and plastics are separated and partly recycled. In China large formal dismantling capacities have been set up in recent years. There dismantling practices follow similar principles as in European plants; however, further processing is only partly implemented in Chinese recycling facilities. Specifically metallurgical treatment of printed circuit boards is still not existent in China. Companies selling electrical and electronic products within the EU are obliged to organise collection and treatment. This has led to a larger number of producer responsibility organisations. Financed and controlled by producers and importers, these systems aim to fulfil legal requirements at optimised costs subject to compliance with environmental standards and monitoring requirements. The Chinese system is built on a state controlled fund which subsidies formal recyclers. For these recyclers this financial support is essential to compete with informal recyclers, who operate at lower costs and do not necessarily comply with environmental standards. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Beigl Peter
Ramusch Roland
Salhofer Stefan Petrus
Steuer Benjamin

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Collection schemes
Informal waste collection
Recycling technology
Extended Producer Responsibility

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