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Electronics Production | March 19, 2007

Recycling in metal smelters of waste plastics<br>with flame retardants meets requirements

Recycling and recovery in metal melters of waste plastics with brominated flame retardants meets all environmental emissions requirements.
A full scale trial to assess the technical feasibility of treating mixed WEEE materials with high plastics content in an integrated metal smelter has been completed. Results confirm that integrated metal smelters represent an appropriate recycling route for WEEE materials as precious metals can be recovered and recycled and the plastic content can serve as an energy source and reducing agent.

The trial also showed that the treatment of mixed WEEE materials in an integrated metals smelter does not affect the operational or environmental performance of the smelter. European industry organisation PlasticsEurope, in cooperation with the Umicore integrated metals smelter (Belgium) and the European Flame Retardant Association (EFRA) performed this test.

Carried out in the context of the implementation of the EU WEEE Directive5, this trial demonstrates that economic and environmental viable routes exist to recycle and recover WEEE materials containing plastics with flame retardants without having to separate those plastics from the waste mix prior to their treatment.

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