Shiny New Horizons: Tech Solving Waste Problems

Hello again 😊

Over the last two weeks, we have been reading so many stories on advances in technology that have exciting implications for the State of Waste. Here are our favorite stories:

Renault, Veolia & Solvay Collaborate for Closed-Loop Recycle End-of-life EV Battery Metals

The shift to electric vehicles has dominated the news recently and it seems like a truly global shift is well underway. Even delivery vehicles for the likes of Amazon and FedEx are going electric! EV battery recycling has been a challenge, but the good news is that innovative recycling solutions are being found and adopted at scale.

Most recently, Renault has partnered with Veolia and Solvay to form a holistic, closed-loop, recycling process for end-of-life batteries. Their holistic approach to battery lifecycle includes “repairs to extend their automotive lifespan, developing second-life applications for energy storage and setting up a system for collecting and recycling batteries” according to Renault CEO, Luca de Meo.

Tire Recycling in Chile Closes Loop for Complete End-of-Life Tire Materials Recovery

Meanwhile, in Chile, Kal Tire recycling company is ready to turn used tires from earthmovers into a completely closed-loop materials recovery program and fuel their plant with the energy from the process!

At full capacity, the plant will process 20 000 kg of used tires a day into high-quality reusable materials like carbon black, pyrolysis oil, gas, and steel, which will enable everything in an end-of-life tire to be recovered for reuse. Chile has also passed tire recycling into law, with the aim of 100% by 2030.

A Global Circular Electronics Partnership - Big Names in Tech, Consumer Goods and Waste Management Working Together

Within our homes, over 50 million tonnes of e-waste are generated annually, of which 80% is not collected recycled. This week, a Global Circular Electronics Partnership has been formed to reimagine the “value of electrical products and materials using a lifecycle approach, reducing waste from the design stage through to product use and recycling”.

The alliance includes major tech companies like Dell, Microsoft, Cisco, and Google, as well as a bevy of organizations like the Global Electronics Council, the WEF’s Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, World Business Council for Sustainable Development amongst others.

When industries themselves come together to find solutions, the onus is no longer on the consumer to make better decisions without the means to do so and real change can happen. We’re so here for it!

AI and Robotics Solve the Sorting Problems in Recycling

Sorting and separating e-waste for recycling is time-consuming and costly, undermining financial viability. As a result, waste is often exported to countries where it can be sorted manually at exploitative wages. China has tightened restrictions on their waste imports, forcing countries like the United States to find solutions at home, including the use of robots to sort waste. Electronics recycling company ERI, has commissioned SAM and ERNIE with great success and hopes to use the same tech in all their operations in the future!

Industrialization and the tech revolution have led to massive issues when it comes to waste but now it seems that technology can also be the answer!

Have you considered buying an EV? Are they popular in your country?

We love hearing from you so please let us know what you think 😊

Best,

Liza and Johanna