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Title: WEEE and portable batteries in residual household waste: Quantification and characterisation of misplaced waste

Highlights: • We analyse 26.1 Mg of residual waste from 3129 Danish households. • We quantify and characterise misplaced WEEE and portable batteries. • We compare misplaced WEEE and batteries to collection through dedicated schemes. • Characterisation showed that primarily small WEEE and light sources are misplaced. • Significant amounts of misplaced batteries were discarded as built-in WEEE. - Abstract: A total of 26.1 Mg of residual waste from 3129 households in 12 Danish municipalities was analysed and revealed that 89.6 kg of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), 11 kg of batteries, 2.2 kg of toners and 16 kg of cables had been wrongfully discarded. This corresponds to a Danish household discarding 29 g of WEEE (7 items per year), 4 g of batteries (9 batteries per year), 1 g of toners and 7 g of unidentifiable cables on average per week, constituting 0.34% (w/w), 0.04% (w/w), 0.01% (w/w) and 0.09% (w/w), respectively, of residual waste. The study also found that misplaced WEEE and batteries in the residual waste constituted 16% and 39%, respectively, of what is being collected properly through the dedicated special waste collection schemes. This shows that a large amount of batteries are being discarded withmore » the residual waste, whereas WEEE seems to be collected relatively successfully through the dedicated special waste collection schemes. Characterisation of the misplaced batteries showed that 20% (w/w) of the discarded batteries were discarded as part of WEEE (built-in). Primarily alkaline batteries, carbon zinc batteries and alkaline button cell batteries were found to be discarded with the residual household waste. Characterisation of WEEE showed that primarily small WEEE (WEEE directive categories 2, 5a, 6, 7 and 9) and light sources (WEEE directive category 5b) were misplaced. Electric tooth brushes, watches, clocks, headphones, flashlights, bicycle lights, and cables were items most frequently found. It is recommended that these findings are taken into account when designing new or improving existing special waste collection schemes. Improving the collection of WEEE is also recommended as one way to also improve the collection of batteries due to the large fraction of batteries found as built-in. The findings in this study were comparable to other western European studies, suggesting that the recommendations made in this study could apply to other western European countries as well.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Technical University of Denmark, Department of Environmental Engineering, Miljøvej 113, 2500 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark)
  2. Econet A/S, Strandboulevarden 122, 5, 2100 København Ø (Denmark)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22300320
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Waste Management; Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CABLES; CARBON; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DENMARK; ELECTRIC BATTERIES; ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT; ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT; HOUSEHOLDS; LIGHT SOURCES; WASTE PROCESSING; WASTES