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Recycling, Volume 1, Issue 3 (December 2016), Pages 311-364

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication An Examination of Batteries Remaining in Used Electric and Electronic Devices: Insights Gained from a Transdisciplinary Project
Recycling 2016, 1(3), 321-327; doi:10.3390/recycling1030321
Received: 24 August 2016 / Revised: 22 September 2016 / Accepted: 10 October 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
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Abstract
The volume of batteries, especially high-energy batteries, in electric and electronic devices is increasing. They are mainly used in small electric and electronic devices, e.g., mobile phones, laptops, household equipment, and tools. With regard to WEEE, these batteries will either remain in the
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The volume of batteries, especially high-energy batteries, in electric and electronic devices is increasing. They are mainly used in small electric and electronic devices, e.g., mobile phones, laptops, household equipment, and tools. With regard to WEEE, these batteries will either remain in the used appliances or be removed by their users for separate collection. Batteries must be removed at the latest during dismantling in order to avoid loss or damage when WEEE is shredded. A representative sample of 2 mg of small WEEE was collected from take-back points in a German city in order to obtain an impression of consumer behavior. The batteries not removed from used electric and electronic appliances submitted by their owners were examined with regard to their type and condition, i.e., whether they were damaged or not. About 20% of all WEEE ran either completely or partially on batteries. Almost half of the batteries had been removed before the used electronic appliances were submitted at the take-back points. By contrast to standard batteries, the volume of special batteries (mainly Li ion or NiCd accumulators) remaining in the appliances amounted to about 75%. Some further conclusions on the way consumers handle batteries could be drawn from the results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Using Risk Assessment and Management Approaches to Develop Cost-Effective and Sustainable Mine Waste Management Strategies
Recycling 2016, 1(3), 328-342; doi:10.3390/recycling1030328
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
Soil contamination by mine wastes is an enormous challenge for both mining companies and competent authorities. Mine wastes are usually considered a major source of impacts on human health and the environment. Thus, the prevailing strategy is to reduce or completely remove the
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Soil contamination by mine wastes is an enormous challenge for both mining companies and competent authorities. Mine wastes are usually considered a major source of impacts on human health and the environment. Thus, the prevailing strategy is to reduce or completely remove the contaminants of concern through appropriate in situ or ex situ remediation techniques. Nonetheless, today’s mine waste may become tomorrow’s ore. In order to keep this option open, however, several things need to change in the concept and practice of mine waste management. This paper presents a case study from Greece, where mine waste (mainly metallurgical slags) have been disposed of, posing excess risks to human health and the environment. Complete restoration of the site would not only be cost-prohibitive but would also eliminate any possibility of future exploitation of contained resources. Considering both the protection of human health and the environment and the storage of waste for future use, a risk assessment and management approach was adopted that allowed the selection of cost-effective measures in order to: eliminate health hazards, re-use the site for recreational purposes, and secure the opportunity for resource recovery in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mining Waste Management and Resource Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle Challenges in Automotive Fuel Cells Recycling
Recycling 2016, 1(3), 343-364; doi:10.3390/recycling1030343
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
Fuel cell driven cars belong to the ‘zero emission’ vehicles and should contribute to lower CO2 emissions. However, they contain platinum, which is known as a critical material in the European Union. This study investigated the potential contribution of recycling fuel cell
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Fuel cell driven cars belong to the ‘zero emission’ vehicles and should contribute to lower CO2 emissions. However, they contain platinum, which is known as a critical material in the European Union. This study investigated the potential contribution of recycling fuel cell vehicles (FCV) to satisfy the platinum demand arising from a widespread deployment of fuel cell vehicles in Europe. Based on a qualitative examination of the four consecutive steps in the recycling chain (collection, dismantling, disassembly and pre-processing, material recovery) of fuel cell vehicles, two recycling scenarios were developed. Using dynamic material flow analysis, these two recycling scenarios were applied to two scenarios for the market penetration of fuel cell vehicles in nine European lead markets to deliver both the associated impact on platinum demand and the contribution of recycling for meeting this demand. The diffusion of FCV in Europe will not cause a depletion of platinum resources in the short term, as the calculated 537.06 t and 459.24 t in cumulative platinum requirements are far below the currently estimated global reserves. However, concerns regarding the future development of platinum supply and demand remain. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Drywall (Gyproc Plasterboard) Recycling and Reuse as a Compost-Bulking Agent in Canada and North America: A Review
Recycling 2016, 1(3), 311-320; doi:10.3390/recycling1030311
Received: 25 July 2016 / Revised: 23 September 2016 / Accepted: 27 September 2016 / Published: 12 October 2016
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Abstract
The incessant disposal of drywall waste, generated predominantly from construction and demolition sites, has been associated with many environmental problems. In landfill sites, it has long been linked with the generation of hydrogen sulphide, a toxic and foul-smelling gas, while the incineration of
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The incessant disposal of drywall waste, generated predominantly from construction and demolition sites, has been associated with many environmental problems. In landfill sites, it has long been linked with the generation of hydrogen sulphide, a toxic and foul-smelling gas, while the incineration of this waste results in the potential release of sulphur dioxide gas, a contributor to acid rain formation. The traditional disposal methods also result in the loss of a valuable resource. Therefore, proper management of this waste through recycling programs and subsequent returns to the end market will ensure that a valuable resource is not lost and that environmental impacts are mitigated. Many potential end markets have been identified for recycled drywall. The application as a bulking agent for composting is one of these markets, which could also provide additional calcium and sulphur nutrients to the soil. Despite the benefits of drywall waste recycling, certain challenges have crippled its recycling rate in North America. This review summarises the current situations with drywall recycling and disposal, existing markets, and the availability of competing markets. Furthermore, the potential use of drywall as a compost-bulking agent is discussed. Finally, a possible solution to improving the recycling rate and market demands for drywall is presented. Full article
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