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The environmental issue on CFCs in the optimization of the Italian system for WEEE recycling

corresponding

MAURIZIO SANSOTERA1,2*, MASSIMO GOLA1, WALTER NAVARRINI1,2
*Corresponding author
1. Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica, via Mancinelli 7, I-20131, Milano, Italy
2. Istituto Nazionale di Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali (INSTM), via Giusti 9, I-50121, Firenze, Italy

Abstract

The fast innovation cycle of electrical and electronic equipments (EEEs) pose the problem of a largewaste production. The correct disposal of WEEE is strictly needed because of their content in hazardous materials, like heavy metals and environmentally dangerous chemicals, which substances can be very dangerous both for the human health and the environment in which they are released. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are largely present in a particular class of WEEE, cooling and freezing equipment. CFCs are well recognized as ozone-depleting gases and can have an impact on the global warming higher than CO2. Being Northern Italy the primary source of CFC in Europe, the Italian WEEE Management System development has been investigated, with a focus on cooling and freezing equipment and related CFCs disposal.


INTRODUCTION

One of the most important environmental issues of the present highly technologic society is the extremely fast innovation cycles of electrical and electronic equipments (EEEs) and the related acceleration of EEEs replacement. Thus, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) have the fastest growing worldwide waste stream. A forecast of the European Directive on WEEE management predicted that the total WEEE production, will reach about 12.3 million tons by 2020 with an annual growth between 2.5% and 2.7%.
The correct disposal of WEEE is strictly needed because of their content in hazardous materials, like heavy metals and environmentally dangerous chemicals such as brominated flame retardant, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofl