Recycling batteries and WEEE

Batteries, Paprec Group

The Resources

Electrical and electronic equipment waste (WEEE) includes all objects and components that work electrically or electromagnetically, be it through batteries or mains supply.
 
In 2010, 434 000 tons of WEEE were collected, of which 98% were treated. Of these amounts, 80% of household WEEE and 52% of professional WEEE were recycled.
 
Every year, this amount of waste goes up by 3 to 5%, with volumes estimated to double in the next ten years. The original limit for such waste, in households, had been fixed at 4kg/inhabitant/year, but in 2010, it was exceeded with 6.4kg. The limit will be raised to 10kg/inhabitant/year in 2014.

The Objectives

Since the January 2003 European directive, all electrical or electronic equipment (operating on mains power or batteries) must be collected, cleaned up, and recycled. The recycling goal is 50% to 75%, depending on the type of equipment.
 
Treatment of WEEE poses many technological challenges: extraction and collection of precious metals, treatment of flat screens, handling of toxic chemicals, dismantling…

The Process

Specialized eco-organisms appoint operatives to collect WEEE from the distributors and producers, as well as at collection sites set up by the local communities. The waste is then transported to treatment facilities to be cleaned up and dismantled.
 
The extracted material (iron, copper, stainless steel, aluminium, precious metals, plastics…) are sent to their specific recycling branches to be recovered into new raw material.

Our Contribution

Over the last few years, Paprec has become an expert in the treatment of WEEE, optimising its automation and the sorting process, improving the dismantling of equipment or the recuperation of lithium from batteries and accumulators.
 
In 2013, Paprec treated 80 000 tons of WEEE in 8 specialized facilities.
 
The recycling batteries and waste electrical and electronic equipment is a step-by-step process. Discover the different steps :
 

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