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Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU

ASCENDING THE WASTE HIERARCHY: RE-USE POTENTIAL IN SWEDISH RECYCLING CENTRES

  • Leonidas Milios - International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), Lund University, Sweden
  • Carl Dalhammar - International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), Lund University, Sweden

DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2020.13912

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2019 CISA Publisher

Editorial History

  • Received: 25 Jul 2019
  • Revised: 16 Oct 2019
  • Accepted: 31 Oct 2019
  • Available online: 05 Mar 2020

Abstract

According to the waste hierarchy principle, which constitutes the basis of European waste legislation, waste prevention and re-use are considered – most of the times – better waste management options than recycling. However, prevention and re-use activities are difficult to operationalise and measure, without a monitoring framework in place. This contribution investigates the potential of re-using end-of-life products that have been disposed at recycling centres in Sweden. Recycling centres receive a wide variety of materials for recycling, of which a portion could be re-used instead. The aim is to identify what product groups can be re-used, the share of these potentially re-usable products in the recycling centres, and under what conditions their re-use is feasible. A literature review of similar studies, site visits at recycling centres in Sweden, and semi-structured interviews with relevant stakeholders were used to analyse the potential for re-use in private recycling centres in Sweden. The most suitable product groups for re-use identified are building materials, furniture and electrical equipment (mainly white goods), as other material types are mostly handled by charity organisations (e.g. textiles). There is significant potential for increasing re-use operations in recycling centres, but in order to be economically profitable it is important to identify the most suitable material fractions (or product groups) and engage in strategic partnerships that will allow more effective organisation of re-use processes.

Keywords


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