Entrepreneurial Support for E-Waste Recyclers




Topics: Resource efficiency policies for sustainable cities and lifestyles, Sustainable business and financing
Keywords: E-Waste, Supporting Tools, Sustainable Business Models

Elisabeth Herbeck1, Markus Spitzbart1, Mathias Schluep2

1Die Wiener Volkshochschulen, Austria; 2World Resources Forum; mathias.schluep@wrforum.org


Sustainable recycling of e-waste bares opportunities as well as obstacles – mainly for small and medium size enterprises. Especially the current challenging market situation for second-hand raw materials makes it difficult for small e-waste recyclers to operate in a sustainable manner. Numerous studies have been conducted to define the required framework conditions in order to sustainably operate an e-waste recycling plant. Besides policy measurements, enforcement of legislation and financing schemes, the sustainable business models are key factors.

The Dismantling and Recycling Centre in cooperation with the World Resources Forum and other international partners developed tools to support entrepreneurs active in e-waste management to set-up sustainable businesses.

  1. Business Plan Calculation Tool

The Business Plan Calculation Tool has been developed to support the calculation of business plans for e-waste recycling facilities. An open source version of this tool exists.

  1. Dismantling Guide

The dismantling guide provides step-by-step guidance to manually disassemble electrical and electronic equipment. Information regarding hazardous components and required caution during the dismantling process is provided as well as some basic storage requirements and downstream options.

  1. Recyclers Information Centre (RIC)

Besides the information regarding recycling procedures, detailed information regarding storage and transport of components and further recycling options, the RIC provides guidelines for the repair of EEE in order to reuse them.

During the presentation the tools described above will be presented in detail. Further, the presentation will highlight how the different user groups are targeted by each tool and how the tools will support entrepreneurs to improve their e-waste management operations. Finally, an overview of existing workshops and trainings will be provided in order to further support entrepreneurs in their daily business.

Ms Elisabeth Herbeck is working for the DRZ since October 2015 and is responsible for the impelementation of two EU funded Projects, Quality Management and environmental Management. Before joining the DRZ, she used to work for the United Nations Industrial Organization at which she managed the implementation of E-Waste Management projects in East Africa.