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an official journal of: published by:
Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU

ELECTRONIC WASTE TREATMENT FLOWS IN NORWAY: INVESTIGATING RECYCLING RATES AND EMBODIED EMISSIONS

  • Kim Rainer Mattson - Industrial Ecology Program, Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Lærke Lindgreen Lauritsen - Industrial Ecology Program, Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Johan Berg Pettersen - Industrial Ecology Program, Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

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Copyright: © 2023 CISA Publisher


Abstract

Norway is one of the countries in Europe generating the most waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) per capita. Extended producer responsibility schemes are incorporated as part of the national waste policy, with clear goals towards recovery of materials from the waste fraction. Investigating the WEEE flows in Norway, we observe clear improvements needed in the transparency of the sector, and based on the information gathered, we estimate lower recycling of materials than provided through official statistics based on reporting. 68% of WEEE sent to recycling treatments are recycled into reusable material. Accounting for WEEE occurring outside of the treatment system, only 58% is recovered for recycling. We also estimate the CO2-eq emissions of different End-of-Life treatments of WEEE, and the embodied CO2-equivalent emissions of each WEEE category, illustrating 1) what category carry the largest environmental burden with respect to its embedded materials, and 2) the environmental impact of specific treatment options within the system. We show how the recycling rate of precious metals have significant influence over the environmental impact recovery potential of the system. Its not just the amount of material that is recycled that is important, including a proxy for expended emissions effectively illustrates the need for more precise policy implementation to ensure a functional circular economy.

Keywords


Editorial History

  • Received: 25 Aug 2023
  • Revised: 18 Dec 2023
  • Accepted: 18 Dec 2023
  • Available online: 31 Dec 2023

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