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Material Hygiene: Improving recycling of WEEE demonstrated on dishwashers
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Machine Elements.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Machine Elements.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 17, no 1, 26-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There must be a change in attitude towards end-of-life products. The view that these products pose a liability must be changed. Secondary material is valuable as raw material. Thus, activities encouraging changes in opinion are important.

Two major EU directives guide the recycling process; the Directive of End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) and the Directive of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Both focus on the input of the recycling system, not on what is coming out of the system.

The WEEE Directive is the legislation on the European level that governs the handling and processing of these types of products. The WEEE Directive is not only aimed at stricter handling and reduction of hazardous materials but also encourages EU member states to support technical development in order to facilitate increased recycling.

In order to properly address these issues a mind-set, material hygiene, has been introduced. The basic idea is to act, in every life cycle phase of the product, towards highest possible efficiency in recycling. The outcome of useful material is in focus.

A study on dishwashers is made with copper outcome as target. The results are based on Swedish conditions but general conclusions can be made. Limited design efforts can raise the outcome of valuable materials, if the recycling process is organized in an optimal manner.

A theoretical concept of disassembly structures is used to draw general conclusions on the case study. Increasing product recycling suitability is one side of the problem: another is increasing effectiveness of handling and processing of end-of-life products.

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of "material hygiene" and based on that demonstrate a method for grading structural properties in a recycling perspective. The findings presented in this paper are based on a field study in which a number of dishwashers were disassembled and analyzed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 17, no 1, 26-35 p.
Keyword [en]
Recycling; Design; Material hygiene; EcoDesign
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9524DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2008.02.010ISI: 000260189300003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-50849111419OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-9524DiVA: diva2:117387
Note
QC 20100816Available from: 2008-11-12 Created: 2008-11-12 Last updated: 2010-08-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Material Hygiene: An EcoDesign mindset for recycling of products
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Material Hygiene: An EcoDesign mindset for recycling of products
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

In recent years the end-of-life phase has come into focus. European Union directives have been issued regulating certain product groups and producer responsibility. Vehicles and electronic products are the first to be identified and targeted. EU environmental legislation acts as a driver for increased reuse, recycling and recovery. The overall aim of the presented activities has been to increase the effectiveness of current recycling practices, both in terms of design changes and end-of-life treatment process suggestions. A “pre-step” operation has been suggested, in order to either salvage valuable (or toxic) material or to remove diluting bulk material. As this thesis is focused on the recycling of white-goods specifically dishwashers the suggested prestep would be removal of valuable copper prior to shredding. A life cycle assessment (LCA) study has been conducted. The purpose of this study was to determine if using a pre-step is beneficial from an environmental point of view or not. Furthermore, an experiment on the usability of recycled polymers from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been performed. Based on this work polymer recycling process suggestions are presented. Based on research in the fields of design for recycling, design for disassembly and EcoDesign the material hygiene (MH) concept of design for recycling is formulated. This concept is tested on a disassembly field study carried out at a waste collection facility and a polymer recycling experiment at a refrigerator fragmentation plant. Five MH factors are suggested: MH Mix, MH Identification, MH Resources, and MH Weight and MH Map. Additionally, a MH mind-set is presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. xii, 82 p.
Series
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2008:07
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9529 (URN)978-91-7415-172-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-11-28, Sal M2, KTH, Brinellvägen 64, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100816Available from: 2008-11-12 Created: 2008-11-12 Last updated: 2010-08-16Bibliographically approved

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