New EU ‘urban mining’ tools map valuable resources in e-waste, scrap vehicles, mine waste

  • 2018•01•11     Bonn

    Standardized, consolidated data helps to identify recovery potential of secondary raw materials worth € billions wasted annually

    Expert organizations have united to create the world’s first European database of valuable materials available for “urban mining” from scrap vehicles, spent batteries, waste electronic and electrical equipment, and mining wastes.

    The Urban Mine Platform, created by 17 partners in project ProSUM (Prospecting Secondary Raw Materials in the Urban Mine and Mining Wastes), presents the flows of precious and base metals and critical raw materials in products in use and throughout their journey to end of life.

    The database reveals the amount of valuable materials recovered or lost in the EU’s scrap vehicles, batteries, computers, phones, gadgets, appliances and other high tech products discarded annually – roughly 18 million tonnes in all — the weight of 3 million African elephants.

    The EU, Norway and Switzerland generated around 10.5 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in 2016 – about 23% of the world total. In addition, 2 million tonnes of batteries and some 7 to 8 million tonnes of EU vehicles reach their end-of-life annually. All represent a rich source of secondary critical raw materials (CRMs). Click here to read more.