Ecological and Economical Assessment of End-of-Life Waste Recycling in the Electrical and Electronic Recovery Sector

Research Area:
Remanufacturing and Recycling


International Journal of Sustainable Engineering

SMART Authors:
Shahin Rahimifard

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Technological innovation and shorter product life cycles of electrical and electronic equipment coupled with their rapidly growing applications have resulted in the generation of an enormous amount of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). To address the potential environmental problems that could stem from improper end‐of‐life management of WEEE, many countries have drafted national legislation to improve the reuse, remanufacture and material recycling from WEEE, and to reduce the amount of such waste going to landfills. With the introduction of such legislation comes an increased need for the recovery operators to evaluate the recycling costs and environmental benefits of reclaimed products and materials in order to select the most appropriate end‐of‐life options for individual products in WEEE. This paper presents a systematic methodology for ecological and economical assessment to provide a holistic understanding of the impacts associated with different end‐of‐life options for such waste. This assessment, in addition to providing decision‐support for the selection of the best possible end‐of‐life option for a particular product in WEEE, could also generate vital information to support the design and material selection processes during the initial product development activities. The assertion made is that the detailed considerations of the ecological and economical impacts associated with different end‐of‐life options will significantly improve the recovery and recycling of WEEE.

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