Implementation of the WEEE-directive — economic effects and improvement potentials for reuse and recycling in Germany

  • Grit WaltherEmail author
  • Jenny Steinborn
  • Thomas Stefan Spengler
  • Tobias LugerEmail author
  • Christoph Herrmann


Reducing the quantity of waste for disposal and saving natural resources were main drivers for the introduction of the European Directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE-directive). This policy focused on an extension of the producer responsibility (EPR) to the end-of-life-phase of their products. Because of the EPR concept, the national transposition of the WEEE-directive, especially the German transposition in the law ElektroG, caused changes in the organisation and material flows that are sometimes not in line with the aim of the directive, which is to enforce the waste management premise “avoidance prior recycling prior disposal”. Thus, the objective of this contribution is to analyse and compare the situation before and after implementation of the ElektroG in Germany, and deduce improvement potentials. Therefore, a co-operation of a municipality and a nearby disassembly company in Germany is analysed and evaluated, taking into account material flows and costs before/after implementation of the ElektroG, as well as degrees of freedom. Based on this analysis, recommendations are deduced for political decision makers and actors of the WEEE treatment system.


WEEE Legislation Germany Regional networks 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Dyckhoff H, Souren R, Keilen J (2004) The expansion of supply chains to closed loop systems—a conceptual framework and the automotive industry’s point of view. In: Dyckhoff H, Lackes R, Reese J, Fandel G (eds) Supply chain management and reverse logistics. Springer, Berlin, pp 13–34Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    ElektroG (2005) Gesetz über das Inverkehrbringen, die Rücknahme und die umweltverträgliche Entsorgung von Elektro- und Elektronikprodukten. BGBI I 762Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    European Parliament and Council of the European Union (2003) Directive 2002/96/EC of the European Parliament and the council on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Off J Eur Communities L 37:24–39Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    EUWID (2003) Verbundsysteme als Lösungsansatz für die Rücknahme von Altgeräten—Mirec schlägt wettbewerbsorientiertes system zur WEEE-Umsetzung vor. Eur Wirtsch Re 6:17Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Herrmann C, Luger T, Walther G, Spengler T, Steinborn J, Schöps D, Brüning R, Mücke S, Wentland A-K, Kratel W (2008) Empirical study on consumer acceptance and product return behavior. First world reuse forum in combination with the electronic goes Green 2008+, Berlin, pp 18–24Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kaebernick H, Ibbotson S, Kara S (2008) Cradle-to-cradle manufacturing. In: Newton PW (ed) Transitions—pathways towards sustainable urban development in Australia. CSIRO, Collingwood, pp 521–536Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Koellner W, Fichtler W (1996) Recycling von Elektro- und Elektronikschrott—Einführung in die Wiederverwertung für Industrie, Handel und Gebietskörperschaften. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lindqvist T (2000) Extended producer responsibility in cleaner production—policy principle to promote environmental improvements of product systems. PhD Thesis, Lund UniversityGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lobas D, Schöps D (2007) The role of SME in recycling networks. In: Proceedings of the 2nd international conference ECO-X 2007: sustainable recycling management and recycling network centrope, 9–11 May 2007, Vienna, pp 173–178Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Magalini F, Huisman J (2007) Management of WEEE and cost model across the EU could the EPR principle lead US to a better environmental policy? In: Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE international symposium on electronics and the environment, 7–10 May 2007, pp 143–148Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    NN (2003) The World Bank annual report. World Bank, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2001) Extended producer responsibility—a guidance manual for governments. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rose CM (2000) Design for environment: a method for formulating product end-of-life strategies. PhD thesis, Stanford UniversityGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Schröter M (2005) Strategisches Ersatzteilmanagement in closed-loop supply chains ein systemdynamischer Ansatz. DUV, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Stiftung EAR (2008) Anzahl optierte örE je Sammelgruppe. Accessed 13 November 2008
  16. 16.
    Thärichen H, Prelle R (2005) Die kommunale Eigenvermarktung von Elektro- und Elektronikaltgeräten nach dem Elektrogesetz. Zeitschrift für das Recht der Abfallwirtschaft 3:108–116Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Verein deutscher Ingenieure e.V. (2008) Recycling elektrischer und elektronischer Geräte Logistik. VDI 2343, 2, Juli 2008, Beuth VerlagGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Walther G (2005) Recycling von Elektro- und Elektronik-Altgeräten. DUV Gabler, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Walther G, Spengler T (2005) Impact of WEEE directive on reverse logistics in Germany. Int J Phys Distrib Logistics Manag 35(5):337–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Walther G, Spengler T (2004) Empirical analysis of collaboration potential of SMEs in product recovery networks in Germany. Prog Ind Ecology 1(4):363–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Automotive Management and Industrial ProductionTechnische Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Machine Tools and Production TechnologyTechnische Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

Personalised recommendations