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

Table of Contents

Part 1 Legislation and initiatives to manage WEEE: Global e-waste initiatives; EU legislation relating to electronic waste: The WEEE and RoHS directives and the REACH regulations; The present recast of the WEEE directive; The WEEE Forum and the WEEELABEX project; Conformity assessment of WEEE take-back schemes: The case of Switzerland; Eco-efficiency evaluation of WEEE take-back systems. Part 2 Technologies for refurbishment, treatment and recycling of waste electronics: The materials of WEEE; Refurbishment and re-use of WEEE; Shredding, sorting and recovery of metals from WEEE: Linking design to resource efficiency; Mechanical methods of recycling plastics from WEEE; Pyrolysis of WEEE plastics; Chemical or feedstock recycling of WEEE products. Part 3 Electronic products that present particular challenges for recyclers: Recycling printed circuit boards; Recycling liquid crystal displays; Recycling cooling and freezing appliances; End-of-life options for printed electronics; Recycling batteries. Part 4 Sustainable design of electronics and supply chains: ErP, the European directive on ecodesign; Sustainable electronic product design; Reducing hazardous substances in electronics; Examining subsidy impacts on recycled WEEE material flows. Part 5 National and regional WEEE management schemes: WEEE management in Europe: Learning from best practice; WEEE management in China; WEEE management in the USA and India: Research and education for a responsible approach to managing WEEE; WEEE management in Japan; WEEE management in Africa. Part 6 Corporate WEEE management strategies: Hewlett Packard’s WEEE management strategy; Siemens’ WEEE management strategy; The history of take-back and treatment of WEEE at the Philips Consumer Lifestyle division; Creating a corporate environmental strategy including WEEE take-back and treatment.


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© 2012
Woodhead Publishing
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Electronic ISBN:

About the editors

V Goodship

Dr Vannessa Goodship is a Principal Research Fellow in the International Automotive Research Centre, WMG, at The University of Warwick. She worked in the plastics industry for fourteen years prior to working at Warwick and has published widely in the field.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Warwick, UK

A Stevels

A. Stevels is Emeritus Professor of Applied EcoDesign at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

Affiliations and Expertise

Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


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