E-waste in Australia

generation estimation and untapped material recovery and revenue potential

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study presents an estimation of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) products put-on-market (PoM), electronic-waste (e-waste) generation and the stock of EEE products in Australia from the year 2000–2047, considering seven categories that encompass 51 different types of product. Holt's double-exponential smoothing and dynamic lifespans (using the Weibull distribution function) are applied to compute past and future PoM and in e-waste generation, respectively. With the estimation, it is found that EEE PoM was increased from 470 kilo tons (kt) to 2135 kt in a timeframe of 2000–2015. On the other hand, e-waste generation was 115 kt in the year 2000, which then increased to 485 kt in the year 2010. For the projected period (2018–2047), the annual average growth of e-waste generation will be around 3%. E-waste generation will increase, particularly for large household appliances (LHA), small household appliances (SHA) and consumer equipment (CE), in terms of weight. This study evaluates the potentially recoverable material and revenue potential of regulated products (e.g., computer, televisions and other IT peripherals currently considered under the national television and computer recycling scheme (NTCRS) and mobile phones) and e-waste generated outside of the current product coverage. The gap between revenue generation from regulated and non-regulated products is quantitatively assessed for the first time and reported in this paper. Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis performed by Monte Carlo simulation showed the robustness and accuracy of this study. This quantification will provide invaluable insights to policymakers, including products in future legislative reform as well as the development of the recycling industry in Australia. Furthermore, this study presents a transparent process of calculation for time-series data that can be used for e-waste generation estimation for other countries, as well.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117787
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume237
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
  • Circular economy
  • Estimation and generation
  • Material
  • NTCRS
  • Revenue
  • Australia

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