The European Union is concerned about potential future scarcity of ferrous and non-ferrous materials. However, it already has potentially rich reserves of secondary materials via high ownership of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). Young people are particularly high consumers of EEE. Hence university students and campuses may present an opportunity to harness this potential. University Distinct Urban Mines (DUM’s) may be used as an exemplar of a powerful concept to tap into potential reserves of secondary metals, and demonstrate one way in which we could potentially transition from a linear to a circular economy. This study aimed to evaluate a category 2 Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) DUM from a UK university. A quantitative survey was undertaken in 2011 to assess students’ ownership and discarding behaviour with respect to small household appliances (SHA). The amounts of ferrous and non-ferrous materials were then estimated and converted to monetary values from the secondary materials market data to estimate the overall value of this DUM. We conclude that a total of 188 tonnes of ferrous and non-ferrous materials were available via discarding or being stockpiled at the University of Southampton in 2011. Extrapolated at UK higher education level, discarded and stockpiled PCA's represent a potential worth 9 million Euros approximately and a majority of broken personal care appliances (PCA’s) were discarded in the general refuse. To divert broken PCA's from landfill we suggest improving users’ choice architecture by proposing collection methods specific to broken WEEE.
|Publication status||Published - 24 May 2016|
|Event||Symposium on Urban Mining and Circular Economy: SUM 2016 - Bergamo, Italy|
Duration: 23 May 2016 → 25 May 2016
Conference number: 3
|Conference||Symposium on Urban Mining and Circular Economy|
|Period||23/05/16 → 25/05/16|
- urban mining
- behavioural economics
Pierron, X., Williams, I., & Shaw, P. (2016). Applying Behavioural Economics to exploit materials from university Distinct Urban Mines. Paper presented at Symposium on Urban Mining and Circular Economy, Bergamo, Italy.