Waste over Time Script

How do you determine the volume of materials present in the economy in the form of electrical and electronic equipment, and at what time and in which quantities are they released as waste? These are a few of the questions related to the circular economy for which Statistics Netherlands has developed responses in the form of a script which can be used for all EU countries.

The Waste over Time (or WOT) script is a script developed by Statistics Netherlands in order to determine, based on European production and trade statistics, the physical weight of sold electronic and electrical equipment and the generated waste of electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) as a result. The script involves implementing the ‘apparent consumption method’, and the ‘sales lifetime approach’. Briefly put, this means estimating physical sales by adding domestic production to imports and subtract from this the exports. The weight of those sales are integrated with the curves of expected lifespan of electronic and electrical equipment. This allows forecasting on the ‘urban mine’ and on future volumes of waste as a function of time.

The script has applications for:

WEEE Directive
• The method used in the script is consistent with the proposed ‘common methodology’ to determine Placed on the Market and WEEE Generated according to the European WEEE directive. For more information on the WEEE Directive check the EU-website.
• Government organisations in member states, environmental inspection agencies and WEEE registers can use the script to verify in detail the sales recorded in registers.

Circular economy
• The script is used in the EU Horizon 2020 ProSUM Project
• It is implemented in Material Flow Analysis and Urban Mining by linking the composition of the products to the sales, use phase, and forecasted waste flows. The script can easily be extended to other products.

The WOT script contains all relevant source data to carry out calculations for the EU-28 members with regard to 54 electronic and electrical appliances (the UNU-KEYS). The statistical source data are obtained from Eurostat, parameters for assessing sales volumes, as well as from the results of a project conducted by DG Environment in which Statistics Netherlands participated.

The script has been programmed in such a way as to allow extension to other products and was written in R.

The script and manual are available for download here:  https://github.com/Statistics-Netherlands/ewaste

The results of the data after running the script can be seen at this page.

When using the script, please make reference to:
Van Straalen, V.M, Roskam, A.J., & Baldé, C.P. (2016). Waste over Time [computer software]. The Hague, The Netherlands: Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Retrieved from:  http://github.com/Statistics-Netherlands/ewaste