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Recycling 2018, 3(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling3020018

Managing Cd Containing Waste—Caught by the Past, the Circular Economy Needs New Answers

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N3 Nachhaltigkeitsberatung Dr. Friege & Partner, Scholtenbusch 11, D-46562 Voerde, Germany
2
BZL Kommunikation und Projektsteuerung GmbH, Lindenstraße 33, D-28876 Oyten, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract

What is understood by the circular economy concept is the re-use and recycling of used materials and waste. In many used products, hazardous compounds are found or might be present either because of the products’ present intended use or former applications that have been banned in the meantime. Clearly, recycling activities should not endanger man and environment through carryover of contaminants. To learn more about how hazardous chemicals in waste impede the circular economy, it is necessary to investigate the ways in which products containing hazardous compounds have been handled up to now in order to avoid secondary contamination. For this study, cadmium (Cd) in NiCd batteries and accumulators and Cd compounds used as stabilisers for PVC profiles were selected as examples. The situation in the European Union was analysed, with a focus on legislation, collection, recycling, disposal and the further fate of “co-recycled” Cd. Insufficient collection rates, partially unsafe disposal and carryover were identified as the main problems. An advanced management strategy for Cd and its compounds is needed in order to mitigate problems in the circular economy. Used products containing hazardous substances ought to be recycled without contaminating the environment or recycled materials. The results suggest that circular economy is faced with different, partially insurmountable challenges. View Full-Text
Keywords: cadmium; NiCd batteries and accumulators; PVC profiles; recycling; re-use; circular economy; battery directive; waste framework directive; WEEE cadmium; NiCd batteries and accumulators; PVC profiles; recycling; re-use; circular economy; battery directive; waste framework directive; WEEE
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Friege, H.; Zeschmar-Lahl, B.; Borgmann, A. Managing Cd Containing Waste—Caught by the Past, the Circular Economy Needs New Answers. Recycling 2018, 3, 18.

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