project | 13.01.2022

Waste streams containing precious and special metals - bundling, interim storage, degree of recovery - Founding Project

Special metals in particular, such as neodymium or indium, are not recovered from waste today, or only to a very limited extent.

There is also still potential for more recycling of the precious metals contained in waste. There are several reasons for this. For some special metals, there are still no large-scale recycling processes in Germany. Often the concentration or the total amount of metals used in end-of-life products or components is so low that economic collection or separation from the waste streams is currently not feasible.  In some cases, there is also a lack of information on the use of metals and their separation, especially among recyclers.
In the project, magnetic materials, vehicle electronics and other waste streams were investigated with the aim of strengthening the recovery of precious and special metals. The following aspects were analysed:
- Collection logistics concepts and information flows for waste bundling and treatment.
- Legal aspects of dismantling, recovery and labelling obligations and the obligation to provide dismantling instructions for waste streams containing precious and special metals
- Recovery processes, bundling and information concepts for a variety of waste streams
- Legal, technical and economic analysis of possibilities and limits of interim storage until recycling technology is available
- Ecologically optimal or realistically achievable recovery rates of precious and special metals from selected waste streams
- Evaluation of possible measures to strengthen the recycling of precious and special metals

Project partners:

  • avocado Rechtsanwälte
  • the research group Optimisation and Operations Management at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences (HSAOps) support bifa in the project.

Results of the project