The rapid technological advances with the increasing application of ICT, have accelerated the generation of electronic waste (e-waste) containing a large amount of valuable resources. In addition, the realization of the green transition goal under the European Green Deal will be severely reliant on the advances in digital and renewable technologies, which in turn, will further accelerate the use and loss of critical raw materials (CRM) and rare-earth elements (REEs). Given the lack of data and the challenges in collecting and sharing confidential and proprietary data, the efficient management of e-waste have become a daunting task for authorities. Thus, establishing an information system is critical to enable systematic and automatic identification of efficient pathways for effective recycling and recovery of resources from the e-waste stream.
REWARD will provide an integrated information infrastructure to facilitate automated data sharing and identifying optimal e-waste resource recycling options among stakeholders. Data on the quantity and quality of e-waste generation and resources (CRM and REEs) within, along with data on social, environmental, and economic (SEE) parameters of recycling processes will be fed to REWARD information system for systematic identification of optimal recycling practices to maximize the recovery of valuable resources, including CRM and REEs.
The outcome of this project will provide an invaluable tool for future resource planning and policy recommendations for the improvement of e-waste resource recovery.
The rapid technological advances with the increasing application of ICT have accelerated the generation of electronic waste (e-waste). In addition, the green transition objectives under the European Green Deal advocate the utilization of renewable technologies and digital infrastructures, which will continue to increase the demand for critical raw materials, especially rare-earth elements. Inefficient waste management systems are identified as one of the most challenging barriers to transitioning to a sustainable and circular economy (CE). The lack of high-quality data from various stakeholders at the national and international levels, as well as the heterogeneous nature of e-waste makes the challenge of regulating and supporting e-waste management systems a daunting task for the authorities. In addition, insufficient information about the quantity of e-waste, diversity of products, and resource quality have created multi-dimensional e-waste management challenges for local, national, and international authorities.
REWARD will provide an integrated information infrastructure, that aims at systematically identifying reusable and recyclable materials in e-waste products while determining the associated social, environmental, and economic (SEE) dimensions of circularity interventions. In REWARD, the data on e-waste generation and e-waste resources, along with SEE parameters will be fed to the integrated information infrastructure to facilitate automated data sharing and identifying optimal e-waste resource recycling options among e-waste actors.
REWARD will also provide an invaluable tool for future resource planning and policy recommendations for the improvement of e-waste resource recovery. REWARD addresses the following thematic priorities (i) resource-efficient ways of covering consumer needs, (ii) increased material recycling and use of recycled materials, and (iii) identifying barriers and solutions to circular business models and value chains.