Ensuring best E-waste recycling practices in developed countries: an Australian example

Pablo Ribeiro Dias, Andréa Moura Bernardes, Md Huda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) management is one of the great challenges faced in the twenty-first century due to the steep e-waste increase worldwide and their potential to be both a source of valuable materials and a hazardous source of contamination. In this study, the management of e-waste is discussed having the Australian recycling scheme as an example. The investigation on the actual recycling process and the associated cost analysis revealed important outcomes for the decision-making process of determining which equipment (or materials) will be exported and which will be recycled domestically. It is shown that scrap computers are the only equipment with enough intrinsic value to justify the domestic recycling without requiring any external subsidy. Furthermore, the importance of such subsidy, of regulations and monitoring are discussed, principally for e-waste with an intrinsic value smaller than computers. The results indicate that labor accounts for more than 90% of the cost of first stage recycling in Australia, which can be extrapolated to countries where labor is expensive. Finally, in the interest of achieving a better waste management worldwide, this study provides arguments to encourage a better monitoring of the recycling processes undertaken internationally and/or the promotion of downstream recycling processes in developed countries.
LanguageEnglish
Pages846-854
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume209
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2018

Fingerprint

Recycling
recycling
Waste management
waste management
labor
Personnel
electronic equipment
cost analysis
Monitoring
twenty first century
monitoring
waste recycling
developed country
Developed countries
Costs
Contamination
Electronic equipment
Decision making
decision making
electronic waste

Keywords

  • electronic waste
  • recycling
  • recycling cost
  • waste management
  • WEEE management

Cite this

@article{fbf87edb453b4539a151d820c96c4d99,
title = "Ensuring best E-waste recycling practices in developed countries: an Australian example",
abstract = "The waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) management is one of the great challenges faced in the twenty-first century due to the steep e-waste increase worldwide and their potential to be both a source of valuable materials and a hazardous source of contamination. In this study, the management of e-waste is discussed having the Australian recycling scheme as an example. The investigation on the actual recycling process and the associated cost analysis revealed important outcomes for the decision-making process of determining which equipment (or materials) will be exported and which will be recycled domestically. It is shown that scrap computers are the only equipment with enough intrinsic value to justify the domestic recycling without requiring any external subsidy. Furthermore, the importance of such subsidy, of regulations and monitoring are discussed, principally for e-waste with an intrinsic value smaller than computers. The results indicate that labor accounts for more than 90{\%} of the cost of first stage recycling in Australia, which can be extrapolated to countries where labor is expensive. Finally, in the interest of achieving a better waste management worldwide, this study provides arguments to encourage a better monitoring of the recycling processes undertaken internationally and/or the promotion of downstream recycling processes in developed countries.",
keywords = "electronic waste, recycling, recycling cost, waste management, WEEE management",
author = "{Ribeiro Dias}, Pablo and Bernardes, {Andr{\'e}a Moura} and Md Huda",
year = "2018",
month = "11",
day = "4",
doi = "10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.10.306",
language = "English",
volume = "209",
pages = "846--854",
journal = "Journal of Cleaner Production",
issn = "0959-6526",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Ensuring best E-waste recycling practices in developed countries : an Australian example. / Ribeiro Dias, Pablo; Bernardes, Andréa Moura; Huda, Md.

In: Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 209, 04.11.2018, p. 846-854.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ensuring best E-waste recycling practices in developed countries

T2 - Journal of Cleaner Production

AU - Ribeiro Dias, Pablo

AU - Bernardes, Andréa Moura

AU - Huda, Md

PY - 2018/11/4

Y1 - 2018/11/4

N2 - The waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) management is one of the great challenges faced in the twenty-first century due to the steep e-waste increase worldwide and their potential to be both a source of valuable materials and a hazardous source of contamination. In this study, the management of e-waste is discussed having the Australian recycling scheme as an example. The investigation on the actual recycling process and the associated cost analysis revealed important outcomes for the decision-making process of determining which equipment (or materials) will be exported and which will be recycled domestically. It is shown that scrap computers are the only equipment with enough intrinsic value to justify the domestic recycling without requiring any external subsidy. Furthermore, the importance of such subsidy, of regulations and monitoring are discussed, principally for e-waste with an intrinsic value smaller than computers. The results indicate that labor accounts for more than 90% of the cost of first stage recycling in Australia, which can be extrapolated to countries where labor is expensive. Finally, in the interest of achieving a better waste management worldwide, this study provides arguments to encourage a better monitoring of the recycling processes undertaken internationally and/or the promotion of downstream recycling processes in developed countries.

AB - The waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) management is one of the great challenges faced in the twenty-first century due to the steep e-waste increase worldwide and their potential to be both a source of valuable materials and a hazardous source of contamination. In this study, the management of e-waste is discussed having the Australian recycling scheme as an example. The investigation on the actual recycling process and the associated cost analysis revealed important outcomes for the decision-making process of determining which equipment (or materials) will be exported and which will be recycled domestically. It is shown that scrap computers are the only equipment with enough intrinsic value to justify the domestic recycling without requiring any external subsidy. Furthermore, the importance of such subsidy, of regulations and monitoring are discussed, principally for e-waste with an intrinsic value smaller than computers. The results indicate that labor accounts for more than 90% of the cost of first stage recycling in Australia, which can be extrapolated to countries where labor is expensive. Finally, in the interest of achieving a better waste management worldwide, this study provides arguments to encourage a better monitoring of the recycling processes undertaken internationally and/or the promotion of downstream recycling processes in developed countries.

KW - electronic waste

KW - recycling

KW - recycling cost

KW - waste management

KW - WEEE management

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85057166137&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.10.306

DO - 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.10.306

M3 - Article

VL - 209

SP - 846

EP - 854

JO - Journal of Cleaner Production

JF - Journal of Cleaner Production

SN - 0959-6526

ER -