A new Horizon 2020 project aiming at collecting and standardizing data on critical raw materials to be extracted from e-waste was launched this week in Brussels.
ProSUM is a EU co-founded project funded which will deliver the First Urban Mine Knowledge Data Platform (EU-UMKDP), a centralised database of all available data and information on arisings, stocks, flows and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or e-waste), end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), batteries and mining wastes from extraction to end of life products with the ability to reference all spatial and non-spatial data. So it will improve the management of these wastes and enhance the resource efficiency of collection, treatment and recycling.
These products are a rich source of secondary critical raw materials (CRMs) in the urban mine and mining waste. Every year in Europe, around 9 million tonnes of WEEE and 7-8M tonnes and ELVs are generated. At global level "it is estimated that the total amount WEEE generated in 2014 was 41.8 M tonnes", explains Jaco Huisman, scientific adviser at the United Nations University, one of the 17 partners.
Setting up the ProSUM Information Network
The project will create an Information Network of end-users, recycling industry, producers and producer-compliance schemes, as well as policy makers with the aim of setting up an inventory of waste streams with a high potential to serve as a source of CRMs.
"For the first time, it will be possible to have better access to harmonised and standardised data on the critical raw materials arising in WEEE, ELVs and batteries, which will benefit all stakeholders", states Pascal Leroy, Secretary General at the WEEE Forum.
The project, which is running until December 2017, is expected to substantially improve the recycling rates of a greater number of materials from these wastes.