EcoDesign reduces recycling costs for ABB

ABB logoA leader in power and automation technologies, ABB (www.abb.com) already operated a scheme to collect and recycle up to 90% by weight of old variable speed drives when supplying new equipment. With assistance from ENVIRON, ABB turned its attention to EcoDesign to minimise WEEE recycling costs for its range of instrumentation products, a number of which fall into product Category 9 of the WEEE Directive.

Following an initial seminar to raise awareness of the issues, ABB set up a project team to work closely with thinkstep to build internal expertise and apply the lessons learned to other product ranges. After clarifying exactly which products are affected by the WEEE Directive, the team assessed the recycling costs for its existing product designs. Working with a selection of specialist recyclers, thinkstep identified a number of EcoDesign changes that have significantly reduced the costs of recycling ABB products whilst maintaining and in some cases even reducing product manufacturing costs.