ECOS: Why we joined CEWASTE project?

ECOS is an environmental NGO that aims to promote a circular and low-carbon economy. Critical raw materials (CRMs) play a crucial role in this transition because of their presence in…
Edited Photo 12.03.20, 14 25 32

First CEWASTE pilot audit takes place

Prior to the commencement of the widespread coronavirus lockdown CEWASTE partner Sofies was able to undertake the first pilot e-waste recycling facility audit to test the voluntary standard being developed by the project. 

The audit took place at Solenthaler Recycling AG in Switzerland a leading recycler of e-waste in the country. 

This was the first opportunity the project has had to test the real-world feasibility of the CEWASTE requirements and to get feedback on this from those in the industry. As such, it provided a valuable early insight into how easily and practically adherence to the requirements can be assessed. 

The audit progressed well and the auditors noted how impressed they were with the high quality of the operations witnessed and the already significant efforts taken to improve, and continue to improve, CRM recovery at the plant. 

The auditors also welcomed the valuable feedback received from the plant operators, both on the feasibility of the CEWASTE requirements and the challenges faced in recovering CRMs. This will help the project to improve the requirements and their long-term viability. 

The project wishes to express its gratitude to Solenthaler Recycling for participating in this pilot audit.

The audits have now ceased due to the coronavirus restrictions but will recommence once these are lifted. Audits are planned across Europe as well as in Rwanda, Turkey and Colombia and will be undertaken by trained auditors from the project along with external auditors that have been trained in the CEWASTE requirements.


CEWASTE provides training for auditors


Despite the postponement of the CEWASTE pilot auditing phase caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the four-part CEWASTE auditor training program has been provided online. The sessions were organised by project partner Sofies during March and April, and focused on the management and technical requirements of the newly developed CEWASTE set of requirements. Around 15 participants, from the CEWASTE pool of auditors, took part in the training sessions, mainly from their homes due to the strict measures in place across Europe to deter movement.

The goals of the first two training sessions were to provide a general introduction to the CEWASTE project, give an overview of the objectives and timeline of the pilot phase, present the CEWASTE requirements and illustrate them with practical experiences and examples of audit questions. Training sessions were designed to be interactive, allowing for fruitful exchanges between participants. The iterative and open nature of the CEWASTE project was recognised, as CEWASTE pilot audits will allow to not only perform a gap-analysis (to which extent current recycling practices comply with CEWASTE requirements) but also provide feedback on the feasibility and applicability of the requirements.

The last two online training sessions were provided by the WEEELABEX Organization in early April, focusing on key requirements from the EN 50625 series of standards, on which the CEWASTE requirements were based.

These completed the comprehensive training curriculum equipping CEWASTE auditors with the knowledge and skills to go out in the field and support the pilot audits. It is not yet known exactly when the pilot audit phase can resume, but we know that the CEWASTE auditors will be ready!

Pilot phase of CEWASTE postponed due to Coronavirus outbreak

17th March 2020

With the ongoing situation throughout the world regarding the coronavirus outbreak the pilot phase of the CEWASTE project has been put on hold. We are in discussion with partners, the project Advisory Board and the Commission regarding this and will provide updates as we know more.


Auditors required for pilot testing of the Certification Scheme

CEWASTE is looking for auditors to help assess implementation of its voluntary certification scheme in the piloting phase of the project. The auditors, who must have knowledge and experience of the EEE, WEEE and, possibly, electric vehicle sectors, are required during Q2/Q3 2020 to visit facilities that are running a pilot test of the certification scheme and to undertake an audit against the requirements of the scheme. Facilities are located in the EU with three pilots are also potentially scheduled in Rwanda, Turkey and Colombia.


Full training will be provided including an accompanied training audit to a facility in Europe. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone working in the sector who wants to broaden their skills and experience and to be there at the inception, and be ready for the formal roll out, of this interesting development in standards for recycling. Further information is available here


consult 4

CEWASTE public consultation now open!

Help us shape the voluntary certification scheme!

The public consultation on the draft of the voluntary certification scheme developed by the CEWASTE project is now open. The document CEWASTE Requirements for Improving CRM Recycling from WEEE and Waste Batteries was revised following a consultation meeting in Geneva at the end of October and is now available for further comment and feedback.

CEWASTE has developed a set of managerial, environmental, social, traceability and technical requirements and accordingly has established an assurance and verification system and related verification mechanisms. The project has taken stock of the normative requirements defined in existing relevant guidelines and standards in the field of electrical and electronic waste treatment - among others, the CEWASTE document is built on the EN 50625 standard series - only where these are not sufficient to meet all the project's objectives, have new requirements been developed (with a focus on CRM recovery).

Developing a widely accepted and mature certification scheme demands a multi-stakeholder process including key experts through an open and transparent procedure. With the current online consultation process, CEWASTE aims to ensure transparency, actively engage with the experts and stakeholders and provide them with mechanisms for participation in the development process of the certification scheme. The ISEAL Assurance Code of Good Practice forms the basis of the stakeholder participation activities in the project.

Consultation is open to the public and is on a voluntary basis. The CEWASTE project team invites stakeholders from different sectors of the value chain to contribute to the consultation process with the aim of getting responses from those with a specific interest in the subject matter and with a wide geographic spread so that opinion is received from informed participants across many countries. The information needed for the stakeholders to decide whether and how to participate in the consultation process are provided in the CEWASTE Terms of Reference.

We hope you are able to contribute to this important part of the project and invite you visit the Consultation section of the website for further information and where all documents associated with the consultation process can be downloaded.

AB consultation meeting 1

CEWASTE meetings in Geneva: update and presentations

At the end of October, prior to and as part of the World Resources Forum conference, the CEWASTE consortium held a series of meetings, consultations and workshops that highlighted the progress the project has made and will dictate the crucial next steps. The project consortium meeting was held across the 21 and 22 October and this was followed by the much anticipated consultation meeting that gave the opportunity for external stakeholders to discuss the first draft of the certification scheme outline.


CEWASTE aims to develop and test a voluntary certification scheme for collection, transport and treatment facilities of key types of waste containing significant quantities of valuable and critical raw materials (CRMs). In order to ensure broad acceptance of the scheme and to allow contribution from relevant experts, the project is engaging with a wide range of stakeholders in a transparent consultation process.


The main goal of the consultation meeting was to collect feedback from the participating stakeholders on the recently issued first draft of the ‘CEWASTE Requirements for Improving CRM Recycling from WEEE & Waste Batteries’. There were nearly 50 participants and the project partners were very pleased with the contributions and incisive debate that was evident throughout the room.

Following the consultation meeting, the project held a workshop, as part of the WRF Conference, in which gathered more than 30 participants. After the review of the outcomes of the Consultation Meeting held the day before, the audience was asked to provide recommendations for advancing CRM recovery. Among others, the importance of awareness raising for both industry and public, import taxation and redesign of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fees were highlighted.

Project funding


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 820859.

Copyright 2023 © All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy