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Carl Dalhammar

Carl Dalhammar

Senior lecturer

Carl Dalhammar

Reaping What WEEE Sow: The potential for harvesting spare parts for repair and refurbishment


  • Jessika Luth Richter
  • Sahra Svensson-Hoglund
  • Tobias Frolov
  • Carl Dalhammar
  • Aake Thidell
  • Jennifer Russell

Summary, in English

A Circular Economy (CE) calls for the value of materials and products to be maintained and recovered through narrowing, closing, and slowing loops. However, there remain challenges in moving up the waste hierarchy and not only recycling materials from products, but also capturing value through reuse of components in refurbished and repaired products. In this paper, we examine the practice of “harvesting” spare parts from discarded white goods and consumer electronics in Norway, Sweden and California. Through literature review and interviews, we examine the sources of WEEE and potential spare parts, the use and markets for harvested spare parts, and the harvesting process itself. We identify key conditions, actors, and barriers and discuss how spare part harvesting could be upscaled to support increasing repair and refurbishment activities, which can increase product lifetimes and reduce waste.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)
  • Biodiversity

Publishing year





4th PLATE 2021 Conference Proceedings : 4th Conference on Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE)

Document type

Conference paper


  • Environmental Engineering

Conference name

4th Conference on Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE)

Conference date

2021-05-26 - 2021-05-28

Conference place

Limerick, Ireland




  • Creating a repair society to advance the Circular Economy – policies, networks and people
  • Circular Economy: capturing value in waste through extended producer responsibility policies