About WEEE and waste of batteries

WEEE is waste electrical and electronic equipment.

This type of waste represents the component with the most rapidly growing rate  among the flows of solid municipal waste, because people use to change their mobile phones, computers, television sets, audio equipment and printers more often than ever before. In Europe, the quantities of WEEE generated show increases of 3-5% per year, 3 times quicker than the total waste flows.

The waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) represents a special waste category, and the collection, treatment and recycling of such is important for several reasons:

  • Environment pollution with greenhouse gases or heavy metals which affect health can be avoided – approximately 70% of the toxic substances which end up in landfills (waste repositories) originate from this type of equipment;
  • Significant amounts of secondary raw materials can be recovered because WEEE has a high level of recycling-reuse (between 85-90%)

Recycling reduces our dependency on natural resources (exhaustible) and represents a major part in creating a sustainable society.

 

Waste of batteries

This type of waste contains heavy metals and toxic chemicals, and dumping these in the household waste leads to soil and water contamination.

Once selectively collected, the used batteries first undergo a sorting process, according to their composition (zinc-carbon, alkaline, Lithium-Ion, button battery, lead-acid, etc.).

For each typology there is a specific shredding, separation and reprocessing process. Most of the times, the workflow contains metallurgical or hydrometallurgical processes. At the end of the processes, metals such as zinc, iron, acid, silver, mercury and others are extracted.

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