Why recycling is getting more and more important

The increased use of raw materials causes environmental damage all along the value chain. If today´s trend continues, the use of mineral and metallic raw materials will increase to about 50 billion tons in 2030. The strongest impact is caused on the first three levels of the value chain*.

The production of raw materials leads to land consumption. At the same time, the raw materials themselves may be released - e.g. lead dust, but also associated materials that e.g. may be radioactive, or auxiliary materials used in the process (e.g. mercury for extracting gold). The production of raw materials and goods requires the use of large quantities of energy and water and causes emissions of pollutants that harm mankind and nature. These material flows then turn into waste that is not fully recycled and can again harm the environment.
All processed raw materials turn into potential secondary raw materials once their useful period is over. Part of them leave our economic system through exportation of used goods and waste. In 2008 alone between 93 000 and 216 000 tons of used or old electronic devices were exported to the developing countries of Southeast Asia or Africa. Waste management structures in the receiving states are fare below those of EU states and endanger the health of man and nature.
DThe processing of electronic waste in developing and emerging nations is often done with simplest means in small or family enterprises, sometimes using child labour. Widespread methods are the burning of electronic waste in the open air for the extraction of copper, melting soldering metals on coal fires and the use of acid baths for extracting metals. This way numerous harmful substances are released which endanger the health of all persons involved in the recycling process as well as their families and people living close to the workshops. Residuals toxic waste is often disposed of in illegal dumps which leads to lasting contamination of the ground and groundwater with heavy metals and organic pollutants (dioxines). **

Refurbishment - 3 become 2

rebeam is committed to giving a second life to as many old products as possible. The devices we receive are checked, cleaned, repaired and then sold again. This process is called refurbishment and represents a long-term use of raw materials. Devices we cannot refurbish are used as spare parts donators. For us it is important to use as little primary raw material as possible. That is why we prefer to turn three damaged projectors into two new refurbished projectors instead of using new raw materials. Besides, less energy is needed for repairing an old projector than for producing a new one. This approach allows us to continue using 85% of the projectors we receive. Devices that cannot be used as spare parts donators are given to our certified recycling partners.

Electronic equipment does not become more valuable while standing around unused. Help us to protect the environment and send us your old device to give it a new life.

Support the long-term use of raw materials and buy a projector that has been refurbished by our technicians!

 

* The five value chain levels:

  1. Mining and extraction,
  2. Production of raw materials,
  3. Production of goods,
  4. Utilization of goods,
  5. Waste management

 ** Environental Report 2012, Responsibility in a limited World, Council of Experts on environmental questions/Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen, June 2012, Wohlfahrt und Ressourcennutzung entkoppeln, Pp. 95: http://www.umweltrat.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/01_Umweltgutachten/2012_06_04_Umweltgutachten_HD.pdf

 

Facts

  • In Germany alone more than 1.8 mio tons of electronic waste per year are produced.
  • Out of this, about 500 000 video projectors end up in the scrapyard.
  • Between 93000 and 216000 tons of used or old electronic devices are exported to the developing countries of Southeast Asia or Africa.
  • rebeam is able to refurbish about 85% of the products we receive, giving them a second life cycle as used devices or as a spare parts donators. This way we are also able to help companies comply with the WEEE directive.
  • The remaining products (approx. 15%) are dismantled and disposed of by our certified recycling partners.

Raw materials in video projectors

  • Lead in the soldering metal of the circuit boards
  • Selenium as rectifier on circuit boards
  • Polybrominated flame retardants in plastic cases, cables, circuit boards and the projector´s light pipe
  • Antimony trioxide flame retardants in plastic cases
  • Cadmium in circuit boards and semiconductors
  • Mercury in lamps, switches and casings
  • Copper in the power supply unit and the circuit board
  • Gold on circuit boards, chips, micro processors and DLPs
  • Silver in capacitors and circuit boards
  • Rare earths in LCDs
  • Palladium in the circuit board chip
  • Glass in optical elements

 

The advantages of Recycling

  • Reduction of the use of primary raw materials and protection of natural resources
  • Reduction of energy consumption compared to primary production because recycling of raw materials needs less energy than the production and transport of the same raw material
  • Accordingly, the greenhouse gases emitted during recycling are lower compared to primary production
  • Less toxic residue that is harmful for mankind and the environment
  • Reduction of dangers to biodiversity
  • Reduction of residual waste and toxic waste
  • Raw material efficiency reduces consumption of raw materials against a horizon of rising prices due to their finite nature