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Rapid technological change, low initial cost, and the fast obsolescence of the electrical and electronic equipments have resulted in a fast‐growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe.
Electronic waste, e‐waste, e‐scrap, or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) describes loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, broken, electrical or electronic devices. The processing of electronic waste in developing countries causes serious health and pollution problems because electronic equipment contains some very hazardous contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium and bromine‐containing flame retardants. Even in developed countries recycling and disposal of e‐waste involves significant risk, for example to workers and communities, and great care must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaching of materials such as heavy metals from landfills and incinerator ashes.
The purpose of this thesis is to figure out the challenges that represent an adequate management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) due to the complexity of this waste. In order to achieve this, the study will be focused on the waste of electrical and electronic equipment within the context of the general waste streams. The current legislation on WEEE will be studied, as well as the collection and recycling methods carried out. The reporting and the economical part will be studied as well. The thesis also points out the environmental impact caused by this waste with the aim to find a solution to its increasing amount of WEEE generated. Hence, the education and awareness regarding with it will be analyzed, finishing at the end with some conclusions and recommendations. The differences between The Netherlands and Spain will be investigated in order to achieve improvements in these systems.
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