ABASG III - Cu – Contribution of the Waste Management to the Copper Metabolism of Austria

ABASG III - Cu – Contribution of the Waste Management to the Copper Metabolism of Austria
2005 - 2006
Ressourcen Management Agentur (RMA)
Unterstützt durch: 
Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management

Project goal

The goal of the project „Contribution of the Waste Management to the Copper Metabolism of Austria“ is to identify the quantitatively most relevant copper-containing goods that circulate in the Austrian economy as well as to define their mass flows and stocks in production, supply and consumption. Additionally, the waste generation that occurs during raw material extraction, production and consumption is roughly estimated.




By means of drawing up a substance flow analysis of copper for Austria, the significance of the waste management for the copper metabolism of Austria is evaluated. Also, the current management of copper-containing wastes is examined towards its consistency with achieving the goals of the Austrian Waste Management Law (AWG). Should the AWG goals be not achieved, suggestions are offered for a prospective optimal management of the copper-containing wastes. 

A substance flow analysis of the key goods containing copper undertaken enables a description the copper metabolism of Austria. The system „Copper metabolism of Austria“ considers the three economic sectors: 1. „Primary Production“ with the process contained „Copper Mining“, 2. „Production“ with the processes contained „Refining“, „Foundry & Semi-finished Product Fabrication“ and „Goods Production“, and 3. „Service“ with the processes contained „Trade“, „Private Households“, „Other Branches“ and „Waste and Wastewater Management“. 

The quantification of the key flows of copper and relevant stocks is performed by applying statistical data, literature research, corporate production data, the Federal Waste Management Plan, experts’ knowledge as well as own calculations and estimations.

The Copper metabolism of Austria is dominated by a significant flow of both imported and exported copper. In total, Austria imports annually 305.000 t copper. In the same time, 223.000 t are annually exported. Thus 80.000 t copper annually remain in Austria. Considering also the secondary copper generated in Austria, the national copper turnover amounts to 110.000 t annually. 

The key goods within the copper metabolism of Austria are: „Copper Wire“, „Electrical Cables and Conductors“, „Pipes“, „Copper Scrap“ and „Refined Copper“.


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