Sustainable Recycling Industries II

In developing countries, the recovery of materials from electronic waste (e-waste) is mainly carried out by thousands of individual workers in the informal sector. This involves numerous health hazards, environmental pollution and the cross-contamination of materials with hazardous substances. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has been developing knowledge partnerships together with Empa in the area of e-waste since 2003.

These results have led to the development of a comprehensive approach in the “Sustainable Recycling Industries” (SRI) program (2013-2018). The development objective of SRI is the sustainable integration and participation of small and medium enterprises from developing and transition countries in the global recycling of secondary resources. SRI has started a second phase in 2019 and will now last until 2023. The program is jointly implemented by Empa and the World Resources Forum Association (WRF) through two interlinked program pillars:

  • Recycling Initiatives: SRI improves local capacity for sustainable recycling together with private and public institutions, as well as the informal sector in Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Peru and South Africa.
  • SRI Roundtable: SRI facilitates a stakeholder consultation for the development of sustainability criteria for secondary materials  

Heinz Böni
Technology & Society Laboratory
Lerchenfeldstrasse 5
9014 St. Gallen
Tel. +41 58 765 78 58

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