E-waste bans and US households' preferences for disposing of their e-waste

Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. Electronic address: .
Journal of Environmental Management (Impact Factor: 2.72). 04/2013; 124C:8-16. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.03.019
Source: PubMed


To deal with the inadequate disposal of e-waste, many states have instituted bans on its disposal in municipal landfills. However, the effectiveness of e-waste bans does not seem to have been analyzed yet. This paper starts addressing this gap. Using data from a survey of U.S. households, we estimate multivariate logit models to explain past disposal behavior by households of broken/obsolete ("junk") cell phones and disposal intentions for "junk" TVs. Our explanatory variables include factors summarizing general awareness of environmental issues, pro-environmental behavior in the past year, attitudes toward recycling small electronics (for the cell phones model only), socio-economic and demographic characteristics, and the presence of state e-waste bans. We find that California's Cell Phone Recycling Act had a significant and positive impact on the recycling of junk cell phones; however, state disposal bans for junk TVs seem to have been mostly ineffective, probably because they were poorly publicized and enforced. Their effectiveness could be enhanced by providing more information about e-waste recycling to women, and more generally to adults under 60. Given the disappointing performance of policies implemented to-date to enhance the collection of e-waste, it may be time to explore economic instruments such as deposit-refund systems.

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Available from: Natalia Milovantseva, Sep 16, 2015
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    • "Waste Management (2014), recycling incentives offered to consumers, data security, and second-hand selling price are among those factors. Milovantseva and Saphores (2013) showed other factors such as age, household size, education, and marital status that have meaningful statistical impact on the broken (or obsolete) TVs storage decision by U.S. households but nothing mentioned about the storage time. "
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