WEEE collection and CRM recovery trials: piloting a holistic approach for Scotland

  • Hursthouse, A. (Invited speaker)
  • Kelly, S. (Speaker)
  • William McPherson (Speaker)
  • Brian Menzies (Speaker)
  • Mirzaeian, M. (Speaker)
  • Donna Wood (Speaker)
  • Stephen Hendry (Speaker)
  • Qaisar Abbas (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Re-Tek UK and its partners, Enscape Consulting and the University of West of Scotland commenced trials for the collection and recovery of critical raw materials from waste electrical and electronic (WEEE) products in July 2016. Sponsored by WRAP CRM (Life funded) the trials are aimed at boosting the recovery of critical raw materials (CRMs) from household waste electrical and electronic products (WEEE) and Information Communications Technology (ICT) in particular, after functioning equipment is separated out for re-use.The new collection models provide residents with the opportunity to drop-off unwanted electrical and electronic appliances at a time and place that suits them, through a collaborative approach which encourages local authorities, educational establishments, businesses, and Social Enterprises etc to act as hub sites. Hubs are designed to minimize product damage and encourage drop - off, rather than hoarding. Extraction methods developed after the collection phase of the trial will advance the opportunity to recover Cobalt, Gold and Silver from ICT products, with the potential to inform how a more sustainable supply chain could be developed in Scotland. These are based on bioleaching and electrochemical recovery using novel carbon based electrode systems, with an assessment of pilot performance and scale up challenges. We report on progress to contribute to an EU Life project covering pilot studies across Europe to provide definitive data on practical solutions to WEEE and CRM recovery.
Period2 Sept 2017
Event title15th International Conference on Environmental Science & Technology
Event typeConference
LocationRhodes, GreeceShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • critical raw materials
  • bioleaching
  • electrochemical recovery
  • hub site
  • cobalt
  • gold
  • silver
  • waste electronic and electircal items
  • electronic equipment collection