The growth of urban mining

The growth of urban mining


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The growth of urban mining Recycling experts are looking at new routes of tackling the growing mountain of electronic and electrical scrap WEEE. The WEEE directive is due to be discussed in the European Parliament during February targeting ways that the collection rates can be increased. A target of 65% collection rate has been proposed […]




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The growth of urban mining

Recycling experts are looking at new routes of tackling the growing mountain of electronic and electrical scrap WEEE.

The WEEE directive is due to be discussed in the European Parliament during February targeting ways that the collection rates can be increased. A target of 65% collection rate has been proposed of WEEE by weight. Other countries are pushing for a collection rate of 85% in each member state in which case would mean here in the UK we have to consider additional ways to help people dispose of their WEEE and electronic waste

Even though there are designated collection points for WEEE, many people can’t be bothered travelling and are still throwing electrical items in with general rubbish which means this gets incinerated.

“There is still scope to promote  more ‘Urban mining’ and encouraging  people to separate electrical items from house hold rubbish” said a spokesman for Weee Recycling, a community focussed recycling company.

By introducing a community based approach to collection centres, community groups and schools can be encouraged to set up collection centres and profit directly from this. All revenues raised by the material collected will be invested back into community groups and this will help divert extra tonnage from landfill and benefit local communities.

“We’d like UK councils to take a leaf out of the German authorities book where already over 65% of WEEE is being recycled. They have specific collection days for electrical waste and have introduced a series of specific bins for mobiles, computers and other electrical waste.

The current UK strategy seems very fragmented and each local authority has different priorities. Weee recycling would like to see a more consistent structured program put in place where volumes can be accurately measure and we can measure improvements and how close to the magic 65% we are getting.   

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