WEEE is the fastest growing waste stream in the EU, producing 8,3 to 9,1 million tonnes in 2005, and expected growth to 12,3 million tonnes is 2020. The world faces enormous challenges in managing this fast growing waste stream. Since the e-waste contains a combination of recyclable and also hazardous components it has to be paid a lot of attention in the future. Analyzing the factors for moving forward the management of WEEE is of that reason of highest importance.
Since the two countries Switzerland and Norway both outside EU have developed WEEE management systems of high quality, they are important models for developing WEEE management in the EU, especially in the new EU countries. It is important that WEEE not is dumped at landfills or incinerated.
Norway is on top in Europe collecting WEEE. The EU target put into the WEEE-legislation in 2006 was 4kg/person/year collected from households. In Norway we collected between 25 and 26 kg in 2006 and in 2009 we reached 31 kg/person/year. This high amount also reflects our high gross national product.
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By Elisabeth Román, Associate professor Narvik University College