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Sustainability and the circular economy: a theoretical approach focused on e-waste urban mining

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 06:47 authored by Xavier, LH, Giese, EC, Ana Cristina Ribeiro Duthie, Lins, FAF
Reuse and recirculation of products and materials are the basis of the concept of the circular economy (CE). The CE is an innovative proposal that can result in positive impacts such as reduced demand for raw materials, reduced consumption of basic resources, and job creation, as well as preventing negative impacts resulting from the exploitation and processing of natural resources. Mining is infamous for its potential environmental impact, but mining waste from traditional mining (in the linear economy) may recover material through upcycling techniques, as can urban mining of industrial and post-consumer waste categories (in the circular economy). Urban mining, a form of closed-loop supply chain management, offers an attractive alternative to the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) and, at the same time, as a sustainable way to exploit mineral resources, reduces primary material intake and stimulates the circularity in the supply chain. The present study reviews the main CE solutions for e-waste management, highlighting the importance of recovering and classifying mineral material according to urban mining procedures.


Publication title

Resources Policy



Article number









School of Social Sciences


Elsevier Sci Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Waste management services; Mineral exploration not elsewhere classified