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, 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
  • Lithium ion batteries in East Africa
  • Mercury containing lamps and displays in West Africa

At the same time, innovative financial mechanisms are being developed and trialed to finance the treatment costs, e.g. voluntary producer payments, e-waste compensation, carbon credits amongst others.


End 2021

20 recyclers have received support and guidance

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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