Last year, Europeans bought nearly 60 million televisions. Eventually, all those televisions—and every other electronic device in the EU—will join the 9.5 million tons of e-waste produced in Europe each year. Electronic waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. And the tidal swell shows no sign of slowing. Effective recycling is absolutely critical to diverting electronics from landfills, recovering resources, and reusing as many materials as possible.
In the past years, the recycling industry has made huge strides. They have developed methods to recover ferrometals, copper, aluminum, and precious metals—along with key plastics from electronic devices. But other important materials get lost or destroyed in the recycling process. So, iFixit is helping to find a way to get even more materials out electronics—so finite resources can find a new life as other products.
iFixit will be participating in CloseWEEE, a far-reaching, €5.9 million project that brings together re-use and recovery experts around the world. We’re teardown experts, so iFixit will develop an online Recycler Information Center in cooperation with the Dismantling and Recycling-Centre. Together, we’ll produce guides that will help disassembly line workers to safely and rapidly dismantle electronic devices.
From there, other experts will figure out how to more effectively recover materials in electronic components. TV manufacturer TP Vision will investigate how to reuse under-recovered high grade polymers—like PC/ABS, and antimony compounds used as flame retardants—without compromising quality. And recycling expert Accurec will explore more comprehensive battery recycling efforts.
For more information about the CloseWEEE project, visit their website!