Environmental project No. 1643, 2015


A study of markets, actors and technologies in treatment of WEEE in Denmark


This report concerns recycling of waste from electrical and electronic equipment. Electrical and electronic equipment is a very heterogeneous group of products ranging from large household appliances to small mobile devices. Some are incredibly complex – others more simple. Critical metals and rare earths are necessary to produce electrical and electronic equipment. In many cases, however, there are no natural sources for these raw materials in Europe. Consequently, the materials are imported from competing economies, notably China. This has put “urban mining” and recovery of critical metals and rare earths on the agenda.  

With this analysis, we set out to gain a better understanding of the playing field for the actors involved in what is labelled “the golden triangle”: EEE producers, technology suppliers and WEEE treatment companies. What are the values to be gained from material recycling? who are the players in the golden triangle? who are their competitors? and which technologies can be used in recovery of the values? This understanding is necessary for all involved actors to better identify potential business opportunities in an enhanced exploitation of the resource potential in WEEE.

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