Future of Electronics Recycling Discussed at 17th International Electronics Recycling Congress
IERC 2018 closed on Friday 19th January 2018 with a stark warning that changes are needed in the global management of E-waste. Attending the congress were 480 international experts from 42 countries.
Bunting Magnetics Europe’s Managing Director, Simon Ayling, was at the congress for the first time.
“All the leading companies and organisations involved in E-waste were present at the congress,” said Simon. “There was a very honest and open assessment of the present state of the industry, with a focus on what needs to change.”
Many visitors to the Bunting Magnetics stand had issues with separating Stainless Steel.
“Stainless steel is clearly a major issue when processing WEEE. Up until now, it has been difficult to effectively [physically and economically] extract the stainless steel. This then causes problems with shredder wear and the contamination of the end product. With the HISC and SSSC, we have Magnetic Separation solutions for both small and large sized Stainless Steel.”
At IERC 2018, there was a focus on change. As developing countries introduce tighter restrictions on the shipment of waste in general [EPPM – China raises drawbridge on incoming overseas plastic waste], a more holistic approach is needed.
New technology, like the Bunting Stainless Steel Magnetic Separator, and increased automation were identified as being vital to improve WEEE recycling rates.
The amount of E-waste is ever-increasing and the shrinking product size is making recycling increasingly difficult. Rising collection costs and falling value of the end recycled product may lead to more localised e-recycling. There also needs to be a clear political strategy with a standardisation of regulations.
“It was clear that the industry faces a challenging future,” observed Simon. “Being able to successfully recycle WEEE can be prohibitively expensive and is further complicated with local and global environmental regulations. Companies involved in processing E-waste are having to continually modify their businesses to survive in an ever-changing industry. Hopefully, our Magnetic Separation technology will help.”
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