Re-use of electronics from houshold waste recycling centres

Latest version of Zero Waste Scotland report providing a summary of the opportunities to maximise the re-use of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) products disposed at HWRC sites.

This report provides a summary of the opportunities to maximise the re-use of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) products disposed at HWRC sites. The project used four trials to identify the key issues, potential solutions to barriers and provide an economic analysis to identify the most cost effective options. The trials have resulted in commitments by the participating councils to continue the trials and expand them into permanent activity. In real terms, this means that 770,000 people, almost 15% of Scotland’s population, now have the option to re-use their unwanted electrical items.

Background

Research indicates that only 7% of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) collected at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) is currently re-used. However, it is estimated that approximately 23% could be re-used with only a small degree of refurbishment and repair1. However it should be noted that achieving this level of re-use will be dependent on the condition of items presented at site, site conditions, protection during transportation and technical ability of the re-use organisation. This presents a significant opportunity to increase the benefits of re-use to local communities at a time when the re-use sector is seeing a significant increase in demand for such items; particularly large domestic appliances.

Scope of Trials

• Trial I – Items collected from designated bays at HWRCs;

• Trial II – Items collected from lockable containers at HWRCs;

• Trial III – Re-use organisation set-up as a Designated Collection Facility (DCF); and

• Trial IV – Bulky uplifts intervention.

Key Findings

The report proves that re-use can be viable; however, a complex set of elements needs to be put in place and co-ordinated if the system is to succeed. The findings also show that no stakeholder can work in isolation; success is gained by partnership, and by a designated party taking "ownership" of the project. These findings are covered in more detail later in the report itself.

Editor pick keywords: 
WEEE
Re-use
Electronics
Electrical
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