It is estimated that there is a significant potential in re-using waste electrical and electronic equipment in Germany. Against this background and in preparation for possible future legislation, this research project aimed at providing information on the situation of (preparation for) re-use of WEEE with regard to the waste hierarchy and the best possible protection of men and the environment (optimization clause, section 6 paragraph 2 KrWG).
First, environmental potentials and pollutant exposure potentials of a prolonged service life of EEE were investigated. Fundamental and legal questions of re-use and preparing for re-use – including the topic of beginning and end of the waste status of electrical and electronic equipment respectively waste electrical and electronic equipment – were analysed. This was followed by an estimate of the volume and employment potential of preparing for re-use of waste electrical and electronic equipment in Germany. Activities of public waste management authorities in the field of re-use and preparing for re-use were surveyed. In the course of the proposals for action, a concept to mobilise the identified potentials has been elaborated.