Finding solutions for problematic e-waste fractions


The Balkans, Latin America, East and West Africa


Formal recyclers based in the target regions


Several so-called problematic e-waste fractions (e.g. e-waste plastics, lithium ion batteries, fluorescent lamps, refrigerator foams) represent a very high environmental hazard but are not treated in low- and middle-income countries due to

  • a lack of local facilities and regulations imposing sound treatment
  • continuous treatment costs and the need for high investments
  • a lack of local markets for the recyclates or the volumes available.


Local formal recyclers are supported to develop either local or international solutions to manage problematic e-waste fractions. At the same time, innovative financing mechanisms will be developed and trialed to enable financing the treatment costs and replication in different contexts where Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes do not exist or are not yet fully operational.


The project aims to provide advice, guidance and training to recyclers on managing problematic fractions in the Balkans, Latin America and East and West Africa. Currently pilot treatment solutions for the following problematic fractions are under development:

  • Polyurethane refrigerator insulation foams containing refrigerants with high global warming potential and/or ozone depleting substances (CFCs) in the balkans
  • E-waste plastics in Brazil
  • Re-purposing of lithium ion batteries in East Africa
  • A mixed shipment of mercury containing lamps and printer cartridges from West Africa

At the same time, innovative financial mechanisms are being explored and trialed to finance the treatment costs, e.g. voluntary producer payments, e-waste compensation, carbon credits amongst others. The results of these piloting activities will be shared in a technical report following the project close at the end of 2021.


End 2021

20 recyclers have received support and guidance. Trainings on batteries and e-waste plastics conducted in English, French, and Portuguese. Download training material below.

End 2021

At least three different fractions are addressed in treatment pilots

End 2021

At least two financing models are conceptualized and piloted to cover treatment costs

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