The continuous changes in the applications and characteristics of the devices increase the production of electrical and electronic devices (EEE) and make the innovation/obsolescence cycles shorter, accelerating their replacement and generating a correlative increase in the generation of waste derived from these devices (WEEE). Due to the presence of toxic substances in its composition, such as heavy metals, WEEE poses a risk to human health and the environment if it is not managed correctly. On the other hand, very rare and valuable materials are also used in its manufacture. Its recovery, preparation for reuse and recycling, not only avoids the extraction of non-renewable raw materials and the environmental and social impacts caused by mining, but also reduces the emission of greenhouse gases associated with its processing.
Evolution of the quantity of domestic EEE put on sale and the quantity of WEEE collected selectively in Catalonia
The selective collection of WEEE increased by 150% between 2013 and 2018, reaching a maximum of 46% selective collection in 2018. Even so, the most recent data, from 2021, show that selective collection decreased by 30% compared to 2018, standing at 32%.