Assessing the recycling potential of "unregulated" e-waste in Australia

Md Tasbirul Islam, Nazmul Huda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Currently, Australian e-waste management system under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) consider television, computer, and IT peripheral products and MobileMuster only considers mobile phones. A large proportion of E-waste from other categories is still unregulated. This study aims to estimate e-waste generation from this "unregulated" e-waste stream by a Weibull distribution-based sales-stock-lifespan model from 2010 to 2030. A total of sixteen unregulated products (eleven electrical appliances and five electronic equipment) were selected for the estimation. The results of this study show that Australia will generate 342 kilo tonnes (kt) of the e-waste in 2020, which is predicted to grow to 461 kt in 2030 with an annual increase rate of around 3.7% from the 16 unregulated electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). Home laundry appliances, air treatment products, refrigeration appliances, large cooking appliances, and heating appliances are the critical items that account for more than 70% of the total e-waste generation. Base metals such as Fe, Cu, and Al will have a sharp increase by the year 2030, accounting 234.27 kt, 31.19 kt, 13.93 kt, respectively from the estimated e-waste quantities. Electronics products (e.g., home audio and visual devices, portable players, video games hardware, and others) will be a significant source of precious and rare-earth elements. By 2030, the estimated economic value of the metals will vary in between 2.74–4.60 billion US$. This study provides suggestion to policymakers in decision making for the future collection and recycling of e-waste in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104526
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume152
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
  • Dynamic material flow analysis
  • Recycling
  • Generation
  • Household appliances
  • Australia

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