Austria

austria

Austria is a small and open economy with a strong export orientation. Environmental technology sectors are a particularly dynamic part of the Austrian economy and one of the drivers of export-oriented growth, performing significantly stronger compared to the overall economy since the financial crisis in 2008.

Austrian companies have established an internationally leading position in several green technology markets. These are heat generation through thermal solar systems and heat pumps, heat storage systems, smart electricity grids, technologies for biomass energy, and passive house building. Smart and intermodal (electrical) mobility management is another upcoming eco-innovation area. With its long tradition and highest recycling rates in the EU, Austrian recycling industries are well positioned to play a key role in the future transformation of Austria towards a circular economy.

With a total score of 108 in the overall Eco-Innovation Scoreboard (Eco-IS) 2015, Austria ranked eighth in the list of EU countries, located between France and Spain and slightly above the EU average. In two of the five components (eco-innovation inputs and resource-efficiency outcomes), Austria’s performance is very close to the European average performance, while performance is above EU average regarding eco-innovation activities and outputs, and below EU average in the component of socio-economic outcomes.

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Austria

Austria

Austria_radar

 Database

Recycling of fluorescent lights

Saubermacher

The innovative process of recycling of fluorecent lights developed by Saubermacher Dientsleistung AG was the prize  winner of the Environment and climate category of the State Prize 2012 Clean Technology Austria. The fluorescent lamps so far were sent to disposal but can now be recycled, enabling the recovery of valueable raw materials.

During the last years Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG has developed a totally new process for recycling fluorescent lamps.The biggest difficulty in the disposal and recycling of fluorescent lamps is the fact that the mercury, yttrium and other rare earth metals contained in tubes and light bulbs must be separated. In this respect  Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG has developed its own recycling process for processing all lights which do not contain liquid mercury. A special feature of this process is that it allows LCD flat screen displays to be recycled as well.

This recycling process allows to recover steel scrap, glass in varying particle sizes Aluminium and copper. Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG plant as a next step the recovery of rare earth metals from the flourescent powder.

Barriers and drivers

One important driver for the recycling of fluorecent lamps are the WEEE directive of the European Union (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) as well as the related Austrian legislation (Elektroaltgeräteverordnung, EAG-VO). The posibility to recover and to add value to materials that were disposed and now take a part of the life cycle of differentes products is also an inportant driver for recycling.

Economic performance

Added value for the domestic economy coming from the recovery of raw materials and significant contribution to the Austria´s position into the recycling markets.

Environmental impact

Recovery of raw materials.

Further information

Staatpreis 2012 Austria (http://www.ecolinx.com/de/staatspreis_2012/)

http://saubermacher.at/web/at/dienstleistungen-55-leuchtstofflampen-sammlung-wir-kuemmern-uns-um-die-entsorgung-von-leuchtstoffroehren/

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