Directions of future developments in waste recycling

Malin Meinander (Editor), Ulla-Maija Mroueh (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportReport


This publication summarises the results and conclusions of the research project Advanced Solutions for Recycling of Complex and New Materials. The aim of the project has been to create a understanding of the future development needs of waste recycling and management by carrying out an in-depth analysis of five selected waste value chains. The chains analysed were: Construction and demolition (C&D) waste, Commercial and industrial waste (C&I) Household waste / municipal solid waste (MSW), Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), End-of-Life vehicles (ELV). The main emphasis is on the analysis of the five waste chains; including technologies, material utilisation and losses, as well as environmental and economic analyses of the current systems. The current and future requirements of the Finnish operational and business environment are also studied. The findings of the project are to be applicable in the planning and implementation of future development projects, as well as in decision making by various actors in the sector. The main methodologies used in this study were literature reviews, data collection, interviews and waste chain modelling; material flow analysis (MFA), life cycle assessment (LCA) focusing on climate impacts and resource use and life cycle cost analysis (LCC). Value formation was studied in WEEE and ELV chains. The operational environment in the waste management chains is affected by various environmental and other policies and regulations, demand and supply as well as raw material prices. Cultural aspects and people's attitudes are also important, especially because the waste market will be increasingly global. The stricter recycling targets are expected to affect product eco-design and development of innovations in the field. Increased recycling calls for systemic thinking and improved waste chain management with more efficient processes and technologies. Integrated modelling concepts and analysis of future scenarios are needed for an analysis of the economic viability of the recycling solutions. Development of new presorting and pretreatment concepts could, for example, improve both the quality and quantity of products. Management of the whole treatment chain calls for real-time monitoring methods integrated with on-line quality control.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages142
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7893-1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology


  • waste chain management
  • material flow analysis
  • LCA
  • commercial and industrial waste
  • municipal waste
  • construction and demolition waste
  • waste electrical and electronic equipment
  • end-of-life vehicles
  • future development


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