Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment in European Union Countries: A Comparison

  • Isabel Narbón-Perpiñá
  • Diego PriorEmail author
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 33)


Over the last decades, the increasing volume of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has become a major matter of concern worldwide. In the European case, a specific legislation has been developed in order to address the environmental problems associated with the proper management of this particular form of hazardous waste (Directive 2012/19/EU). Accordingly, it has introduced specific targets for the reuse and recycling and recovery of WEEE, which European countries should include in their national policies.

The aim of this chapter is to contribute to the literature on the management of WEEE by comparing the performance of the different European Union countries according to the targets set in the regulation of the Union’s environmental policy on WEEE. To this end, we use the traditional nonparametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) in order to measure technical efficiency for the first time in the literature. We use a sample of 30 European countries for the year 2014, with the purpose of comparing their performance, ranking the countries, and identifying their level of inefficiency. Our results suggest that European countries are highly efficient in the implementation of the WEEE Directive and management of the recycling and recovery of WEEE. However, considering the performance of different waste categories, we observe significant differences in WEEE efficiency among countries. Specifically, more efforts are needed to achieve higher efficiency levels from small equipment, lights, electrical and electronic tools, and medical devices.


Cross-country comparison Data Envelopment Analysis Efficiency measurement Environmental regulation Environmental challenges European Directives European Union E-waste Management policy Nonparametric methods Waste electrical and electronic equipment 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BusinessUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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