State of the art : E-waste

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The amount of WEEE (Waste of electric and electronic equipment) thrown away is increasing by around 20% each year, making it the fastest growing waste stream in Europe. Today, still more than 80% of these WEEE end up in landfills, in rich and developing countries alike, where the lead and other toxins it contains can cause soil and water contamination. Yet, there are valuable constituents in e-wastes and the recovery of these materials could alleviate mining of virgin materials at less than a tenth of the environmental footprint originally needed to extract them as primary sources!