Incineration is the process of destroying waste through burning. Because of the variety of substances found in e-waste, incineration can be associated with a major risk of generating and dispersing contaminants and toxic substances. The gases released during the burning and the residue ash are often toxic.
Mechanical processing is the first step in e-waste treatment, normally an industrial large scale operation to obtain concentrates of recyclable materials in a dedicated fraction and also to further separate hazardous materials.
The subsequent step of e-waste recycling is refining. Refining of resources in e-waste is possible and technical solutions exist to get back raw with minimal environmental impact.
Most of the fractions need to be refined or conditioned in order to be sold as secondary raw materials.