Materials recycling and industrial ecology

Lally School of Management and Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, New York 12180, USA.
Nature Materials (Impact Factor: 36.5). 05/2004; 3(4):199-201. DOI: 10.1038/nmat1101
Source: PubMed


The European Parliament's new legislation to minimize industrial wastes and promote recycling is discussed. The legislation creates challenges in the materials field by requiring consideration of the full lifecycle of materials including disposal. It creates a need for improved methods of separation and reprocessing, non-destructive testing to assess reusability of components from products at the time of disposal. The legislation however favors certain materials and products that are relatively easy to recycle.

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    • "In the case of electronics, phase-out of lead use in solders in process (see for example Liew et al., 2006) complicated disposal decisions. While in the case of cathode ray tubes, some jurisdictions have introduced special regulations to divert these products from municipal landfills with the intent of integrating the lead into new products (Linton and Yeomans, 2004). Policies that have been developed with the intent of producing more environmentally favorable modes of product end-of-life disposal have to-date resulted in more storage of product and less redeployment of parts and materials into new products than intended (Shih, 2001; Micklitz, 1992). "
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