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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Handbook - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780857090898, 9780857096333

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Handbook

1st Edition

Editors: Vannessa Goodship Ab Stevels Jaco Huisman
Hardcover ISBN: 9780857090898
Paperback ISBN: 9780081016053
eBook ISBN: 9780857096333
Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
Published Date: 30th August 2012
Page Count: 752
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Table of Contents

Contributor contact details

Woodhead Publishing Series in Electronic and Optical Materials


Wecycle, join us in recycling

Part I: Legislation and initiatives to manage WEEE

Chapter 1: Global e-waste initiatives


1.1 Introduction

1.2 Problems associated with e-waste

1.3 Global e-waste management initiatives

1.4 Synergizing e-waste initiatives

1.5 Future trends

Chapter 2: EU legislation relating to electronic waste: the WEEE and RoHS Directives and the REACH regulations


2.1 Introduction

2.2 The EU and the environment

2.3 The Waste Framework Directive

2.4 The WEEE Directive

2.5 The WEEE Directive in operation

2.6 The recast of the WEEE Directive

2.7 Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS)

2.8 The Commission’s proposal on a recast RoHS

2.9 Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals Directive (REACH)

2.10 Review of REACH

2.11 Summary

Chapter 3: The present recast of the WEEE Directive


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Review studies proposing options for the recast of the WEEE Directive

3.3 The current proposals for the recast of WEEE

3.4 Further developments (July-September 2011)

3.5 Conclusions

Chapter 4: The WEEE Forum and the WEEELABEX project


4.1 Introduction

4.2 What is the WEEE Forum?

4.3 Context of WEEELABEX

4.4 WEEELABEX phase I: standards

4.5 WEEELABEX phase II: conformity verification

4.6 Conclusions

Chapter 5: Conformity assessment of WEEE take-back schemes: the case of Switzerland*


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Approach of the conformity assessment

5.3 Scope and elements of the conformity assessment

5.4 Future trends

5.5 Conclusions

Chapter 6: Eco-efficiency evaluation of WEEE take-back systems


6.1 Introduction

6.2 How much WEEE is out there?

6.3 How do WEEE quantify and prioritise environmental impacts?

6.4 How much do WEEE have to pay?

6.5 How do WEEE benefit from impact assessment in policy development?

6.6 Conclusions

Part II: Technologies for refurbishment, treatment and recycling of waste electronics

Chapter 7: The materials of WEEE


7.1 The material content of WEEE

7.2 Materials and their recovery and recycling technologies

7.3 The transition from cathode ray tube (CRT) to liquid crystal display (LCD) display screens and its implications for materials recycling

7.4 The loss of scarce elements

7.5 Novel materials recovery approaches

7.6 New materials and their implications

7.7 Summary and conclusions

Chapter 8: Refurbishment and reuse of WEEE


8.1 Need for WEEE refurbishment and reuse

8.2 Reuse processes and their role in sustainable manufacturing

8.3 Industry sector specific example: refurbishment of computers

8.4 Role of the third sector

8.5 Issues in WEEE refurbishment and reuse

8.6 Future trends

8.7 Summary of WEEE reuse and refurbishment

Chapter 9: Shredding, sorting and recovery of metals from WEEE: linking design to resource efficiency


9.1 Introduction

9.2 Theory of recycling

9.3 Product design, shredding and liberation of waste products

9.4 Automated and manual sorting of WEEE products

9.5 Metallurgical processing

9.6 (Dynamic) modelling recycling systems performance

9.7 Conclusions

Chapter 10: Mechanical methods of recycling plastics from WEEE


10.1 Introduction

10.2 Introduction to waste collection and sorting

10.3 Methods of sorting small particle size polymer waste

10.4 Conversion of WEEE to a reusable material

10.5 Effectiveness of the WEEE legislation to date

10.6 Remanufacturing using WEEE polymers

10.7 Future trends

10.8 Sources of further information and advice

Chapter 11: Pyrolysis of WEEE plastics


11.1 Introduction

11.2 Pyrolysis processes and characterization of the pyrolysis fractions

11.3 Pyrolysis of printed circuit boards (PCBs)

11.4 Pyrolysis of plastics

11.5 Environmental concerns about the products of pyrolysis of WEEE

11.6 Future trends

Chapter 12: Chemical or feedstock recycling of WEEE products


12.1 Introduction

12.2 Characteristics of WEEE plastics

12.3 European feedstock recycling initiatives since the 1990s

12.4 Conclusions and future trends

Part III: Electronic products that present particular challenges for recyclers

Chapter 13: Recycling printed circuit boards


13.1 Introduction

13.2 Materials

13.3 Flame retardants

13.4 Costs and benefits of recycling printed circuit boards (PCBs)

13.5 Challenges and future trends

Chapter 14: Recycling liquid crystal displays


14.1 Introduction

14.2 Liquid crystal displays (LCDs)

14.3 Recycling processes for liquid crystal displays (LCDs)

14.4 Hazardous materials in liquid crystal displays (LCDs)

14.5 Recovery of valuable materials

14.6 Re-use of liquid crystal display (LCD) equipment and components

14.7 Future trends

Chapter 15: Recycling cooling and freezing appliances


15.1 Introduction

15.2 Challenges relating to WEEE refrigerators and freezers

15.3 Requirements for de-gassing processes

15.4 Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

15.5 Future trends

15.6 Techniques for separation of fridge plastics

15.7.Sources of further information and advice

15.8. Conclusions

Chapter 16: End-of-life options for printed electronics


16.1 Introduction

16.2 Printed electronics

16.3 End-of-life options and their challenges

16.4 Consideration of EU legislation

16.5 Future trends

16.6 Sources of further information and advice

Chapter 17: Recycling batteries


17.1 Introduction

17.2 Main directives worldwide for spent batteries

17.3 Methods for the recovery of metals from spent batteries

17.4 Future trends

Part IV: Sustainable design of electronics and supply chains

Chapter 18: ErP – the European Directive on ecodesign


18.1 Introduction

18.2 Trends leading to ecodesign regulation

18.3 Introducing the ErP Directive

18.4 Examining the Framework Directive concept

18.5 Comparing ErP and WEEE approaches

18.6 Status of ErP implementation and coverage of end-of-life (EoL) aspects

18.7 Conclusion

Chapter 19: Sustainable electronic product design


19.1 Introduction

19.2 Drivers for sustainability and ecodesign

19.3 How to do design for sustainability (DfS)

19.4 Sustainable materials and manufacturing processes

19.5 Examples of sustainable electronic product design

19.6 Future trends

19.7 Sources of further information and advice

Chapter 20: Reducing hazardous substances in electronics


20.1 Hazardous substances and their functions in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE)

20.2 Legislative bans of hazardous substances in EEE: the RoHS Directive

20.3 Environmental, technological and economic impacts of the RoHS substance restrictions

20.4 Differentiated approaches for the use and ban of hazardous substances

20.6 Appendix: abbreviations

Chapter 21: Examining subsidy impacts on recycled WEEE material flows


21.1 Introduction

21.2 A multi-tiered decentralized reverse production system (RPS) problem

21.3 Insights from decentralized RPS case study

21.4 Conclusions and discussions

21.5 Acknowledgments

Part V: National and regional WEEE management schemes

Chapter 22: WEEE management in Europe: learning from best practice


22.1 Introduction

22.2 The waste strategy within the EU

22.3 The WEEE Directive and the RoHS framework

22.4 Extended producer responsibility (EPR) and polluter pays principles and WEEE management

22.5 National waste recovery schemes: case studies

22.6 Summing up and discussion

22.7 Conclusions and recommendations

22.8 Acknowledgements

22.10 Appendix: abbreviations

Chapter 23: WEEE management in China


23.1 Introduction

23.2 Infrastructure: collecting, processing, recycling facilities

23.3 Informal and formal recycling

23.4 Contamination from landfill and incineration

23.5 Environmental impacts

23.6 Management of hazardous materials

23.7 Knowledge centers of excellence

23.8 Future trends

23.9 Sources of further information and advice

23.10 Acknowledgements

Chapter 24: WEEE management in the USA and India: research and education for a responsible approach to managing WEEE


24.1 Introduction

24.2 Local situational analysis of health and safety monitoring practices in WEEE recycling facilities in the US

24.3 What are the issues for the WEEE recyclers?

24.4 What do recycling workers expect from this job?

24.5 What were the observations at the ECS Refining WEEE treatment site?

24.6 Discussion and implications

24.7 Recommendations to ECS Refining and similar facilities elsewhere in the US and India for tackling WEEE recycling issues

24.8 Conclusions

24.9 Sources of further information and advice

24.10 Acknowledgements

24.12 Appendix: interview question list

Chapter 25: WEEE management in Japan


25.1 Introduction

25.2 Japan’s home appliance recycling system: purpose and background

25.3 The collection rate

25.4 Cost and recycling quality

25.5 Export problems

25.6 Economic analysis for urban mining

25.7 Conclusions

Chapter 26: WEEE management in Africa


26.1 Introduction

26.2 Volumes of WEEE imported and generated in African countries

26.3 Impacts of current WEEE recycling practices

26.4 WEEE policy and legislation

26.5 Conclusions

Part VI: Corporate WEEE management strategies

Chapter 27: Hewlett-Packard’s WEEE management strategy


27.1 Environmental business management at Hewlett-Packard (HP)

27.2 HP e-waste management in practice: HP end-of-life product return and recycling

27.3 Future trends

27.4 Sources of further information and advice

27.5 Conclusions

Chapter 28: Siemens’ WEEE management strategy


28.1 Introduction: WEEE as an important element of the overall environmental protection strategy

28.2 Siemens’ environmental business management

28.3 Significance of WEEE aspects within the product life-cycle management (PLM) process

28.4 Healthcare products as an example of WEEE management

28.5 Future trends

28.6 Sources of further information and advice

Chapter 29: The history of take-back and treatment of WEEE at the Philips Consumer Lifestyle division


29.1 Introduction

29.2 The period 1990–1998

29.3 Implementation of a take-back and treatment system in The Netherlands (1997–2000)

29.4 The WEEE Directive (2000–2008)

29.5 Summary and conclusions

Chapter 30: Creating a corporate environmental strategy including WEEE take-back and treatment


30.1 Position of take-back and treatment in an environmental strategy

30.2 Corporate environmental strategy

30.3 Product characteristics, take-back and treatment

30.4 WEEE implementation, materials recycling and corporate environmental strategy

30.5 Summary and conclusions



Electrical and electronic waste is a growing problem as volumes are increasing fast. Rapid product innovation and replacement, especially in information and communication technologies (ICT), combined with the migration from analog to digital technologies and to flat-screen televisions and monitors has resulted in some electronic products quickly reaching the end of their life. The EU directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) aims to minimise WEEE by putting organizational and financial responsibility on producers and distributors for collection, treatment, recycling and recovery of WEEE. Therefore all stakeholders need to be well-informed about their WEEE responsibilities and options. While focussing on the EU, this book draws lessons for policy and practice from all over the world.

Part one introduces the reader to legislation and initiatives to manage WEEE. Part two discusses technologies for the refurbishment, treatment and recycling of waste electronics. Part three focuses on electronic products that present particular challenges for recyclers. Part four explores sustainable design of electronics and supply chains. Part five discusses national and regional WEEE management schemes and part six looks at corporate WEEE management strategies.

With an authoritative collection of chapters from an international team of authors, Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) handbook is designed to be used as a reference by policy-makers, producers and treatment operators in both the developed and developing world.

Key Features

  • Draws lessons for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) policy and practice from around the world
  • Discusses legislation and initiatives to manage WEEE, including global e-waste initiatives, EU legislation relating to electronic waste, and eco-efficiency evaluation of WEEE take-back systems
  • Sections cover technologies for refurbishment, treatment and recycling of waste, sustainable design of electronics and supply chains, national and regional waste management schemes, and corporate WEEE management strategies


Designers, producers and distributors of electronic products; Companies involved in waste management and recycling of WEEE metals, glass and plastics; Material scientists and engineers; Environmental engineers; Waste consultants; Government agencies; Policy makers


No. of pages:
© Woodhead Publishing 2012
30th August 2012
Woodhead Publishing
Hardcover ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:


"In my opinion, this book provides comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of all aspects relating to the complex subject of waste electrical and electronics equipment (WEEE). It is essential reading for anyone involved in addressing what continues to be both a significant global challenge and an opportunity" --highly recommended., Professor Martin Goosey, IeMRC Industrial Director, Loughborough University

"In a world about to own 2 billion PCs and countless other electronic products, this book provides a unique insight into the dangers, complexities and the opportunities provided by having to deal with the e-waste that is to come." --Paul Markillie, Innovation Editor, The Economist

Ratings and Reviews

About the Editors

Vannessa Goodship

Principal Research Fellow at the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), a department at the University of Warwick providing research, education and knowledge transfer in engineering, manufacturing and technology. Her areas of specialism are plastics materials, their processing and recycling, and she has undertaken many research projects in these areas - most recently looking at multifunctional materials. She - like WMG - works at the interface of academia and industry. She has edited two books under the Woodhead imprint: Management, Recycling and Reuse of Waste Composites (2009) Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Handbook (2012).

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Warwick, UK

Ab Stevels

Ab Stevels has done trailblazing work in making Applied EcoDesign into day-to-day business really happen and has researched in detail the setting up of take-back and recycling systems for electronics For these purposes tools and management procedures have been developed which have proven their strength through their practical success.

Ab is the author of some 200 journal articles and conference contributions. Training courses on applied EcoDesign have been held at various universities (Delft, Stanford, TU Berlin,TU Vienna, TU Ostrava, the University of Arts and Design in Farnham (UK) , Mexico City, Hong Kong Poly, NTNU( Trondheim, Norway), Tsinghua University (Beijing) , and at various Philips departments and divisions around the globe and at other companies.

In 2013 he developed a 'MBA and Sustainability' course in cooperation with the University of Sao Paulo.

For his work in Applied EcoDesign he got an honorary degree from the University of Arts and Design. For his contributions in the field of recycling of electronics he got the "Cowbell Award"from the International Electronics Recycling Conference Organization. In 2014 the World Green Design Organization awarded him a "Green Design Contribution Award'.

Affiliations and Expertise

Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Jaco Huisman

Dr. Huisman holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology and a Ph.D. from Delft University of Technology. He was a Scientific Advisor to the UNU – SCYCLE and steering the group’s research activities related to electronics recycling. He is involved in various international projects providing facts and figures for improving e-waste management. In the past, Dr. Huisman has been the lead author of the UNU study supporting the European Commission’s 2008 Review of the EU WEEE Directive as well as multiple advanced e-waste country studies for various European countries. From 2013 to 2015 he was the scientific coordinator of the EU CWIT-project: “Countering WEEE Illegal Trade” and the H2020 project ProSUM: Prospecting Secondary raw materials in the Urban Mine. Currently with the European Commission DG Joint Research Center in the Sustainable Resources Directorate.

Affiliations and Expertise

European Commission – Joint Research Center (JRC)