The Sustainable Recycling Industries (SRI) project, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented in Egypt by the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE) and DSS Sustainable Solutions Switzerland (dss+), has published two new studies. These studies focus on the problematic fractions of electronic waste (e-waste) in Egypt, with the aim of identifying locally adapted solutions for their safe treatment.
The baseline assessment study employed a systematic approach to identify hazardous materials in various types of electronic equipment, such as desktops, laptops, LCD panel displays, CRT panel displays, and old and smart mobile phones, which are the most important in terms of volumes handled by Egyptian recyclers. The study found that the typical hazardous materials found in e-waste include heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium; brominated flame retardants (BFRs) such as polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB); chlorinated persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that exist in many fractions of e-waste; and unintentional POPs released from e-waste, such as dioxin and furan-like structures.
The opportunity study provides an in-depth analysis of the current management of hazardous fractions from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in Egypt, based on field surveys and interviews with the main recyclers. It assesses the available infrastructure to handle hazardous fractions and identify gaps to be tackled in priority. It concludes that although there are environmentally sound solutions for some problematic fractions, challenges still exist for others, such as lithium-ion batteries, capacitors containing hazardous materials, BFR-containing plastics and CRT screens.
The results of these studies can inform policy and decision-making related to e-waste management in Egypt and contribute to the development of sustainable solutions for e-waste management. The SRI project aims to promote the most promising solutions identified in these studies and possibly attract investment from solution providers. In 2023, an in-depth feasibility study on most promising solutions will be conducted.
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