AWARE Symposium

With this symposium, we aim to trigger a debate about how to more effectively raise awareness on recycling of electronic waste amongst university students and the wider public. A group of diverse speakers will present the challenges of collection of electronic waste from their own perspective.

The symposium will start with an academic introduction to circular economy and the importance of recycling and collection of e-waste.  It will be followed by a testimony by Recupel, a Belgian non-profit association that is responsible for organising the collection and processing of discarded electr(on)ic appliances and light bulbs. Through targeted awareness raising campaigns it tries to boost the collection efficiency (e.g. Recupel 2019 Campaign “Vermist” (on collection of End-of-Life refridgerators) and “Say farewell to your old mobile” (End-of-Life mobile phones). GoodPlanet Belgium, an NGO specialized in organizing sustainability workshops for children, will provide a summary of its lessons learned from its experiences in schools. Concurrently, Umicore and Eurometaux will present their views on the challenges related to collection and dismantling of e-waste and as well as the need for design-for-disassembly in electronic products.


EIT RawMaterials AWARE, SUMA Programme, RECUPEL & SIM² KU Leuven

Event key data

Date & Location: 8 November, 2019 [Auditorium De Tweede Hoofdwet – Kasteelpark Arenberg 41, 3001 Leuven]

Free Registration



November 8, 2019
12.00 Sandwich lunch
13.00 Welcome opening

Stefano Arciprete (EIT Education Officer, CLC West): On the importance of educational programmes within EIT RawMaterials

Katarzyna Janusz (KU Leuven): Why do we need AWARE?

13.15 Keynote lecture

Karel van Acker (KU Leuven): Introduction to circular economy and recycling

14.00 Keynote Lecture

Annelies Evens (Recupel): Awareness building to collect EoL refridgerators (linked to Recupel campaign “Vermist”)

14.30 Maxime Devers (Goodplanet): Lessons learned from e-waste recycling workshops with primary and secondary school children
15.00 Networking Coffee break
15.30 Keynote lecture

Steven Art (Umicore): Recycling of e-waste (design-for-disassembly and collection challenges): a metallurgical perspective

16.00 Keynote lecture

Kamila Slupek (Eurometaux)Recycling of e-waste: regulatory perspective versus the reality

16.30 Panel debate with the presenters (moderator: Gwendolyn Bailey (KU Leuven))

How can we raise awareness to boost e-waste collection and recycling? Is the “Say farewell to your old mobile” the way to go? Do we need better incentive systems? How should we reach out to primary and secondary school children, students and the wider public in general?

17.15 Networking reception


Some of our Speakers:

Outreach to schools

Among the participating students, AWARE invites 1-3 students (master and PhD level) to work further with us to develop educational material from the presentations of the symposium. This material will be used in 2020 in primary schools in Leuven to teach the pupils about the importance of recycling of electronic waste. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to:

About EIT RawMaterials AWARE

AWARE, which stands for “Raising public awareness on electronic waste as a source of valuable materials”, is a Wider Society Learning Project financed by EIT RawMaterials. The project partners are: Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. VTT – leader; Hub Innovazione Trentino; Relight S.R.L.; Delft University of Technology; KU Leuven. The focus of the project is on education and involvement of school children, both to raise the awareness of end-of-life electronics as a resource, and through them to bring the message into families and the society as whole. The aim of the project is to increase the share of waste ending up in official take-back systems instead of losing resources to waste disposal or incineration plants and collection outside official take-back systems. The university students in this project will act as envoys to teach pupils at schools about the relevance of circular economy and recycling of electronic waste.

Free Registration