Dismantling and Utilisation

At the end of their life cycle, unusable electrical and electronic appliances come to E.R.N. – details on which devices in particular belong to this group and how they are categorised, can be found in the list below.

Electronic scrap recycling is practised environmental protection. First, a separation is carried out into utilisable and non-utilisable portions. During manual dismantling, the devices are separated into several fractions. In the following paragraph, we describe the depth and degree of dismantling, and provide an overview of the treatment and utilisation of the most important fractions. All the procedures are performed in facilities that are approved in accordance with the Federal Immission Control Act.

  1. Large household appliances
    • Large Cooling Units
    • Refrigerators
    • Freezers
    • Other aggregates for cooling, preservation and storage of food
    • Washing machines
    • Laundry dryers
    • Dishwashers
    • Cookers and ovens
    • Electrical hotplates
    • Electrical heating plates
    • Microwave ovens
    • Other equipment for cooking or further processing of food
    • Electrical heater
    • Electric radiator
    • Other equipment for heating of rooms, beds and furniture
    • Electric ventilators
    • Air conditioners
    • Other types of air purifiers and climate control units
  2. Small household appliances
    • Vacuum cleaners
    • Carpet sweepers
    • Other types of purifiers
    • Equipment for sewing knitting, weaving or other forms of textile handling
    • Flat irons and other devices for ironing, desideration or other tendance of clothing
    • Toasters
    • Fryers
    • Mills, percolators and equipment to open up or close canisters or packaging
    • Electrical Knives
    • Hair trimmers, hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, razors and other devices for personal care
    • Alarm clocks, wristwatches and devices for gauging, displaying or registering of time
    • Scales
  3. Appliances of information and telecommunication technology and data processing
    • Main frames
    • Mini computers
    • Printers
    • PC class:
      • PCs (including CPU, mouse, display and keyboard)
      • Laptops (including CPU, mouse, display and keyboard)
      • Notebooks
      • Personal Digital Assistants
      • Printers
    • Photocopiers
    • Electrical and electronic type setters
    • Pocket- and tabletop calculators
    • Other systems and devices for entry, storage, processing, visualization or transfer of information by electronic means
    • End user terminals and systems
    • Fax machines
    • Telex devices
    • Telephones
    • Coin and card telephones
    • Wireless telephones
    • Mobile phones
    • Answering machines
    • Other systems and devices for transferring of sounds, images or other information by means of telecommunication
  4. Consumer electronics appliances
    • Radios
    • Television sets
    • Video cameras
    • Video recorders
    • Hi-fi sets
    • Audio amplifiers
    • Musical instruments
    • Other systems and devices for recording or playback of sounds or images, including signals, or other technologies for the transfer of sounds and images by means other then telecommunication
  5. Light fixtures
    • Light fixtures for fluorescent lamps with the exception of household light fixtures
    • Fluorescent tubes
    • Compact fluorescent lamps
    • Discharge lamps, including high-pressure sodium discharge lamps and metal halide lamps
    • Low pressure sodium discharge lamp
    • Other light fixtures or devices for distribution or control of light with the exception of household light bulbs and light fixtures
  6. Electrical and electronic tools (no stationary large industrial tools)
    • Drills
    • Saws
    • Sewing machines
    • Lathes, milling cutters, grinders, drills, punches, tools for hackling, sawing, cutting, shearing, folding and creasing or similar machining of wood, metal and other material
    • Assembly and disassembly tools for screws, nuts and nails and similar purposes
    • Welding and soldering tools or equipment for similar purposes
    • Tools to spray, deploy, dispense or other forms of handling of fluid and gaseous substances by other means
    • Lawn mowers and other gardening tools
  7. Toys and devices for sports and leisure
    • Electrical trains or slot car racing sets
    • Videogame Consoles
    • Video games
    • Bicycle-, dive-, running-, rowing computer et. al.
    • Sport equipment containing electrical or electronic parts
    • Slot machines
  8. Medical technology (no implanted or infectious products)
    • Devices for radiation therapy
    • Cardiologic devices
    • Equipment for dialysis
    • Respirators
    • Equipment for nuclear medicine
    • Lab equipment for in vitro diagnostics
    • Other lab equipment
    • Freezers
    • Test equipment for fertilization
    • Other implements for diagnosing, prevention, monitoring, treatment or abatement of illnesses, injuries or disabilities
  9. Monitoring and controlling instruments
    • Smoke detector
    • Heating controllers
    • Thermostats
    • Equipment for metering, weighing or applying control within households and laboratories
    • Other monitoring and control devices used in manufacturing (e.g. control panels)
  10. Automatic output devices
    • Vending machines for hot drinks
    • Vending machines for hot or cold bottles or cans
    • Vending machines for solid objects
    • Automated teller machines
    • Any kind of device for automated product dispensing

Synthetic and Plastic Parts

Synthetic and Plastic Parts
Plastics Elastomer Material
A large proportion – about 20 per cent – of the synthetic materials accruing at E.R.N. originates from cables. Mixed plastics from case parts are re-utilised today. Plastic parts made of hardened PVC, PE or similar materials, and non-ferrous metal composites, are transferred to a separate utilisation. A partner enterprise converts these materials to beacon feet, lawn grid plates and similar products.

Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

Induction Motors
Induction Motors
In a first process, E.R.N.'s dismantling plant for electrical and electronic components separates the coarse ferrous and aluminium portions. The plant processes electric motors, deflection units of cathode-ray tubes, small electrical devices, transformers and inductors from Al and Fe, and relay scrap. Plants that are also used for dismantling cables carry out the second process. These scraps are also utilised 100 per cent.

Circuit Cards and Boards

Circuit Boards
Circuit Boards with high copper content
The circuit card scrap accruing at E.R.N. is utilised 100 per cent. As a first step, the decontaminated circuit cards (i.e. without capacitors, batteries, components containing mercury or PCB) are mechanically shredded. This process results in two fractions: coarse circuit card pellets and absorbed filter dust. The dust is utilised in the copper smelting process of the Norddeutsche Affinerie. The plastic parts of the circuit cards burn nearly residue-free. The non-ferrous and precious metals are concentrated in multiple-stage refinery processes and are then reprocessed to copper products and by-products. The by-products include anode slime from which gold, silver; palladium and platinum are precipitated in a multiple-stage process. The process achieves a very high overall recycling rate.

Law restricted the use of certain hazardous substances in new electrical and electronic appliances. Directive 2002/95/EC stipulates: Electrical and electronic appliances put into circulation after the 1st July 2006 may not contain plumb, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chrome, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE).

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Electronic Scrap