Repurposing E-waste as a driver for Resource Efficiency
E-waste is one of the world's fastest growing waste streams and contains valuable precious and critical materials. Repurposing facilitates material recovery and creates a second life for products.
The European Commission has identified resource efficiency and electronic waste as areas of concern. The current end-of-life treatments for e-waste revolve around recycling, with a small amount of reuse. Recycling is inefficient due to inappropriate pre-treatment and a lack of recycling technologies. Reuse is dependent on factors such as market demand and suitability for purpose.
This research examines Repurposing as an end-of-life strategy for e-waste. This is where a component is reused for a different function. Repurposing can enhance recycling outcomes through dismantling; enable functional reuse of components thus extending a product’s lifetime and leverage value through product creation to offset costs associated with dismantling. The results presented will document the evaluation process for the feasibility study, the economic evaluation of the dismantling process, the methodology required for evaluation and potential sources of supply and the application of the above to a case study of 30 Notebook computers sourced from a B2C waste stream.