ENIAC-GREENELEC : 1/1/2012 - 31/12/2014

Electronic waste and especially electronic parts have low recycling yields. Electronics pose a recycling challenge both from the point of purity as well as volume. Collection today strongly depends on proper disposal by the consumer, often resulting in electronics ending up in the wrong waste stream.

Furthermore, effective recycling is hampered by fixed connections to other parts and by the inseparable presence of elements that are mutually excluding in recycling, like e.g. copper and aluminium. To improve recycling efficiencies, electronics and its individual parts and components must be identified in the recycling process and be easily separated based on their composition.

The GreenElec project aims at fundamentally improving the recycling situation by performing research into  the basic elements that determine recycling efficiency, namely:

1.    Guidelines for combinations of materials that are mutually compatible in recycling

2.    Identification techniques and methodologies for electronics and electronic parts.

3.    Design-for-Recycling rules in order to avoid untraceable material combinations or to improve separation of parts: casing, mechanical parts, cabling, electronic components, PCB,...

4.    Quantification of recyclability and Design-for-Recyclability and its impact on product performance, manufacturability, reliability, cost, etc.

5.     Technologies and equipment for the separation of devices and components into well-defined waste streams

6.    Determination of optimum waste stream composition for maximal recovery

7.    Exploration of business models and regulatory policy support that give an incentive to the recycling/reuse of electronics.