Global Circular Economy of Strategic Metals – the Best-of-two-Worlds Approach (Bo2W)

Recycling of Hard Disk Drives – Analysing the optimal dismantling depth for recyclers in developing countries and emerging economies

The report was produced as part of the BMBF-funded project “Global circular economy of strategic metals - best-of-two-worlds approach (Bo2W)” and addresses the recycling of hard disk drives from electronic waste (e-waste). Hard disk drives contain various materials with a high intrinsic value. Nevertheless, the recycling of many of these materials require separation prior to refining. While in industrialized countries hard disk drives are often shredded, manual dismantling often allows generating output fractions of higher purity and thus higher value for recycling. This report analysis the optimal balance between manual labor input and the value of the generated recycling outputs. It is aimed to support decision-making for recyclers operating in developing countries and emerging economies.