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The purpose of this study is to understand the importance of personal computers (PCs), new and used, as well as post-consumer management options in the residential sector in developing countries using Peru's capital, Lima, as a case study. Part of this study aims to understand how the growth of secondary markets for PCs satisfies demand of computer services in the residential sector. To achieve these goals a probabilistic survey was carried out in Metropolitan Lima. 600 households were interviewed in this survey. Households were divided into socio-economic levels (SEL) A–E, with A being the wealthiest and most educated and E being the least. Results show that ownership of computers in the residential sector is closely related to SEL, for example, for the highest SEL, SEL A, 93% of households owned a computer, however, only 1% of the households owned a computer in the lowest SEL, SEL E. Regarding the penetration of used computers in households, results show that for SEL A, B, C and D the ratio of used versus new computer ownership increases while SEL decreases. In addition, 68% of the households without a PC at home (HPC−) reported that economic constraint of expense is the main reason to not own one. The survey indicates that people in Lima are increasingly using computers for education, business and entertainment. In general people show a preference to buy a new computer but cost considerations have led to the diffusion of used computers in lower income groups. The penetration rate of used computers in Lima's residential sector is low at this time. People's negative perception of the reliability of used equipment and willingness to pay for new computers affects this penetration rate. Also, residents reported that landfills is the least chosen option, for end-of-life computers, monitors and electronics, with self-reuse and storage being the most selected.

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... A survey in Beijing, China reported that more than 60% of its respondents had sold their old computers and large home appliances to "peddlers" for recycling (Liu et al., 2006). On the other hand, Kahhat and Williams (2010) found that less than 15% of their respondents in Lima, Peru sold used computers and other electronic devices; the majority kept them as spares or in storage. Moreover, even if the premise that households widely sell WEEE is true, combining a buy-back offer with drop-off collection is not necessarily a preferred arrangement. ...
... But, they were less likely to be donated for reuse (18% to 30%, p<0.000 using Fisher's Exact Test), although previous research has shown that ICT, though obsolete, were less likely to be completely unusable or beyond repair than home appliances (Cooper, 2004). In this respect, the call for a more effective way to reuse obsolete but still functioning computers (Kahhat et al. 2010) should be extended to other types of ICT. We will show in Section 3.3 that the proposed policy in Thailand has the potential to draw WEEE out of storage. ...
This article assesses the potential and the limitations of Thailand's proposed policy which would have local governments buy back targeted waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) from households at designated locations. The proposal relies on the premise that a monetary incentive at the time of disposal is needed to gain participation from households which would otherwise sell to private waste dealers who purchase and then introduce WEEE into the pollution-causing informal recycling sector. To see whether the premise and the proposed policy were valid, a large-scale survey of 1529 households was conducted. This article reports these households’ past behavior in, and future preferences for the disposal of 10 particular WEEE items: televisions, digital cameras, portable media players, desktop printers, mobile phones, personal computers, refrigerators, air conditioners, fluorescent lamps, and dry-cell batteries, which were prioritized under the Thai WEEE Strategy. We also tested the effects of population density, distance to the hypothetical drop-off location, car ownership, product weight and the financial incentive offered on the respondents’ past decisions and future choices. The survey results show that creating a standardized program to buy back WEEE at designated drop-off locations has a potential of getting household WEEE introduced into the formal recycling sector. It could also help eliminate the psychological hurdle of parting with obsolete products and encourage their disposal. However, the program may not be enough to convince people to stop selling WEEE to waste dealers, especially if they had done so in the past. Based on the results, recommendations to improve the viability of the proposed policy and to direct and enhance future research are outlined.
... As more studies and empirical materials speaking to e-waste flows and pollution havens emerge, there is an emerging consensus that a broader scope of factors must be considered as shaping the movement of e-waste to developing countries (Kahhat and Williams, 2010;Lepawsky and Billah, 2011;Reddy, 2015), which would also loosen the framing of these flows as simply a dumping of pollution or a flight of economic activities to the regulatory shadows. This less monolithic account of flows to hubs in developing countries is joined by recent 2 While definitions of what constitutes an industrial hub are often contentious, we employ a loose operational definition of informal e-waste hubs as geographic regions where e-waste processing and related economic activities are the primary industry supported by an integrated cluster of markets, technologies, and labour. ...
Initial, and still dominant, explanations of transboundary e-waste flows have relied on the Pollution Haven Hypothesis (PHH), which theorizes that pollution intensive economic activities will relocate to jurisdictions with the most relaxed environmental regulations. This hypothesis has influenced the parameters of the BAN Amendment to the Basel Convention, which uniformly restricts the movement of hazardous waste (including e-waste) from the global North-to-South. Recent research, however, has shown that e-waste does not simply flow to less regulated areas with cheaper labor: for example, flows are not simply from North-to-South, and e-waste processing areas are only in a subset of developing countries and very specific regions within these. Specifically, e-waste processing tends to be done very largely within “hubs,” regional concentrations of firms and organizations, which, though overwhelmingly informal, exhibit many of the characteristics of other kinds of industrial clusters. Thus, a more nuanced theory of e-waste destinations is overdue, promising greater explanatory power as well as more granular and effective policy stances and tools. This paper contributes to these goals by synthesizing indications from the literature on e-waste hubs in Africa and Asia of recurring factors shaping their emergence, and further elaborating these on the basis of our own extensive field research in two very different informal e-waste hubs in Palestine and Ghana. This analysis offers an initial theory of place-specific characteristics and circumstances that attract and facilitate the emergence and agglomeration of such industries. Our findings thus allow us to move beyond the PHH first pass macro conceptualizations to more nuanced and dynamic accounts of e-waste destinations at a regional and even micro-level, as well to challenge and improve upon the policies derived from the PHH framing.
... Such environmental awareness is high among users. For example, in a Lima, Peru survey about adoption and disposal of computers, seven out of ten households responded that they know that the improper disposal of computer creates an environmental risk and consider reuse to be a preferable option (Kahhat and Williams, 2010). ...
Objective - The research aims to investigate Malaysian tertiary students’ intention towards waste mobile phone recycling in the context of an integrated model. Methodology/Technique –Awareness of consequences, attitude, subjective norm, perceived convenience, and perceived knowledge were hypothesised to investigate mobile phone recycling intention among university students. For this study, 294 university students were recruited using convenience sampling. Data were gathered using a series of self- administered questionnaires. All instruments for the variables were adopted from past studies. Partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was conducted to evaluate the measurements’ validity and examine the relationship among variables. Findings – Convergent validity and discriminant validity evaluated using the measurement model were satisfactory. The R-squared value obtained was 0.363, which suggests that the model explained 36.3% of students' intention towards mobile phone recycling. The results suggest that attitude is the important determinant of e-waste recycling intention. Perceived convenience, subjective norm, and awareness of consequences also emerge as significant variables affecting waste mobile phones recycling intention. Interestingly, perceived knowledge is not a significant factor in this analysis. Novelty – This study provides an insight into the complex relationships that affect the waste mobile phones recycling intentions of users as well as well-founded suggestions for the policymakers in the future. Type of Paper: Empirical JEL Classification: A1, Q53.
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In the absence of relevant policies and supporting infrastructure, many developing countries are struggling to establish a resource-oriented waste management system. In countries like Nepal, where informal recycling practices are prevalent, the lack of understanding of the existing system hinders any advancement in this sector. We characterize the informal recycling chain in Kathmandu, where a workforce of more than 10,000 people handles the recyclable items in various waste streams, including electronic waste (e-waste). A field study, supported by key informant interviews, questionnaire surveys, and site observations was conducted to understand the local recycling sector, the lifecycle of electronic products, and the relevant stakeholders. E-waste is found to be an integral part of the existing solid waste management chain and, therefore, needs to be addressed collectively. We identify the challenges and opportunities towards building a sustainable system for managing e-waste, and offer propositions f
E-waste is a complex stream of toxic waste which requires specific handling considerations. Effective and responsible management of E-waste is a global concern today. Considering the depth of the E-waste problem, this paper is an attempt to review two key elements greatly accountable for influencing sustainable E-waste management initiatives: Consumers’ E-waste 1) ‘Disposal Behaviour’ and 2) ‘Awareness’. Taking into account the locale specific characteristics of consumers’ E-waste disposal behaviour and awareness, we have attempted to perform an extensive review on the global context and identify the measures adopted by the consumers of different countries to dispose off their E-waste. We observe significant differences in consumers’ E-waste disposal behaviour not only ‘between’ the developed and developing countries, but also ‘within’ these countries. The paper further especially explains the complexities in India’s E-waste management system due to its multifaceted socio-economic, cultural and other associated connotations influencing consumers’ disposal behaviour and awareness. We conclude that global experiences on consumers’ E-waste disposal behaviour and awareness could be helpful for a particular country to devise inclusive E-waste management strategies to adequately address their current E-waste crisis.
Environmental pollution becomes aggravated as human beings enjoy high-tech products without being fully aware of the consequences of excessive resource consumption. In the literature, few studies focus on people’s recycling behavior. How to characterize recycling behavior appropriately poses a critical challenge in the study of electronic waste recycling. This paper develops a computer recycling model using system dynamics to predict electronic waste in Taiwan. The model is constructed and validated for “real” recycling data from the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration. The constructed model is well qualified for the computer recycling data with only 2 percent forecast error. The three decision variables of holding duration, recycling refund and innovative technology were tested through dynamic hypotheses and found significant to be included in the proposed system dynamics model. A moving average forecast method is employed to predict future recycling quantities. The research outcomes can help the Government gain an understanding of the recycling behavior of electronic waste. Therefore, practical and feasible policies can be proposed to improve electronic waste recycling.
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While some of this volume has addressed the future, it is worth concluding with a long-term, high-level perspective. This chapter attempts such, first identifying key drivers, trends, and challenges for the future of electronic scrap. This leads to a development of qualitative scenarios of the future. The chapter concludes with recommended strategies for moving towards a more sustainable management of electronic scrap. Much of my prior work on green electronics questions conventional wisdom on how sustainability challenges are viewed and managed. The perspective developed in this work carries through in this chapter. However, the approach here is interpretive: I suggest assertions but do not take on the task of proof. Much of the evidentiary and quantitative argumentation appears in prior works (1–22). Given the futuristic nature of the topic, however, much of the argumentation in this chapter is, by necessity, speculative.
The landscape of electronic waste, e-waste, management is changing dramatically. Besides a rapidly increasing world population, globalization is driving the demand for products, resulting in rising prices for many materials. Absolute scarcity looms for some special resources such as indium. Used electronic products and recyclable materials are increasingly crisscrossing the globe. This is creating both - opportunities and challenges for e-waste management. This focuses on the current and future trends, technologies and regulations for reusable and recyclable e-waste worldwide. It compares international e-waste management perspectives and regulations under a view that includes the environmental, social and economic aspects of the different linked systems. It overviews the current macro-economic trends from material demand to international policy to waste scavenging, examines particular materials and product streams in detail and explores the future for e-waste and its’ management considering technology progress, improving end-of-lifecycle designs, policy and sustainability perspectives. To achieve this, the volume has been divided in twelve chapters that cover three major themes: holistic view of the global e-waste situation current reserve supply chain and management of used electronics, including flows, solutions, policies and regulations future perspectives and solutions for a sustainable e-waste management. The emphasis of the book is mainly on the dramatic change of the entire e-waste sector from the cheapest way of getting rid of e-waste in an environmental sound way to how e-waste can help to reduce excavation of new substances and lead to a sustainable economy. It is an ideal resource for policy-makers, waste managers and researchers involved in the design and implementation of e-waste.
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The management and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment WEEE was assessed in the city of Delhi, India. In order to do this, the personal computer was defined as the tracer for which a model was designed. The model depicts the entire life cycle of the tracer, from production through sale and consumption—including reuse and refurbishment—to the material recovery in the mainly informal recycling industry. The field work included interviews with the relevant stakeholders, transect walks and literature study, which was followed by a software-supported material flow analysis (MFA) of the whole life cycle chain of the tracer item. In addition to the MFA, several economic aspects of the recycling system were investigated. The study revealed that the life span of a personal computer has considerable influence upon the system, most notably in the following two aspects: (i) a prolonged life span creates value by means of refurbishing and upgrading activities, and (ii) it slows down the flow rate of the whole system. This is one of the simplest ways of preventing an uncontrolled increase in environmentally hazardous emissions by the recycling sector. The material recovery of the system is mainly driven by the precious metal content of personal computers. A first estimate showed that precious metal recovery contributes to over 80% of the personal computer materials' market value, despite the small quantity of them found in computers.
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Electronic waste (e-waste) recycling has remained primitive in Guiyu, China, and thus may contribute to the elevation of blood lead levels (BLLs) in children living in the local environment. We compared the BLLs in children living in the e-waste recycling town of Guiyu with those living in the neighboring town of Chendian. We observed the processing of e-waste recycling in Guiyu and studied BLLs in a cluster sample of 226 children < 6 years of age who lived in Guiyu and Chendian. BLLs were determined with atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Hemoglobin (Hgb) and physical indexes (height and weight, head and chest circumferences) were also measured. BLLs in 165 children of Guiyu ranged from 4.40 to 32.67 microg/dL with a mean of 15.3 microg/dL, whereas BLLs in 61 children of Chendian were from 4.09 to 23.10 microg/dL with a mean of 9.94 microg/dL. Statistical analyses showed that children living in Guiyu had significantly higher BLLs compared with those living in Chendian (p < 0.01). Of children in Guiyu, 81.8% (135 of 165) had BLLs > 10 microg/dL, compared with 37.7% of children (23 of 61) in Chendian (p < 0.01). In addition, we observed a significant increasing trend in BLLs with increasing age in Guiyu (p < 0.01). It appeared that there was correlation between the BLLs in children and numbers of e-waste workshops. However, no significant difference in Hgb level or physical indexes was found between the two towns. The primitive e-waste recycling activities may contribute to the elevated BLLs in children living in Guiyu.
Personal computers have made life convenient in many ways, but what about their impacts on the environment due to production, use and disposal? Manufacturing computers requires prodigious quantities of fossil fuels, toxic chemicals and water. Rapid improvements in performance mean we often buy a new machine every 1-3 years, which adds up to mountains of waste computers. How should societies respond to manage these environmental impacts? This volume addresses the environmental impacts and management of computers through a set of analyses on issues ranging from environmental assessment, technologies for recycling, consumer behaviour, strategies of computer manufacturing firms, and government policies. One conclusion is that extending the lifespan of computers (e.g. through reselling) is an environmentally and economically effective strategy that deserves more attention from governments, firms and the general public.
In just two decades, personal computers (PCs) have become ubiquitous in the homes and offices of the industrialized world. Manufacturing, sales, management, medicine, etc.,—all depend on computers now to function efficiently. E-mail has become indispensable in our day-to-day communications with family members, friends, and colleagues. It is now hard to imagine life (in rich countries) without computers in one form or other. Despite the rise of a variety of new devices to deliver information services, such as the Internet-capable cell phone, there is no obvious substitute on the horizon for the key features of a PC: large display, input keyboard, and personal information processing and storage capability.
The disposal, recycling, and part salvaging of discarded electronic devices such as computers, printers, televisions, and toys are now creating a new set of waste problems. This study is aimed at identifying the sources and quantifying the pollution levels generated from electronic waste (e-waste) activities at Guiyu, Guangdong Province, China, and their potential impacts on the environment and human health. The preliminary results indicate that total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil obtained from a printer roller dump site was 593 µg/kg dry weight (dry wt.) and in sediment from a duck pond, the PAH concentration was 514 µg/kg (dry wt.). Sediment from the Lianjiang River was found to be contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (743 µg/kg) at a level approaching three times the Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines probable effect level of 277 µg/kg. Total mono- to hepta-brominated diphenyl ether homologue concentrations (1140 and 1169 µg/kg dry wt.) in soils near dumping sites were approximately 10–60 times those reported for other polybrominated diphenyl ether-contaminated locations in the world. In-house study on the open burning of cable wires showed extremely high levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans resulting in 12419 ng toxic equivalents (TEQ)/kg of waste input and 15 610 ng TEQ/kg for two separate tests, respectively, which were about three orders of magnitude higher than those for the open burning of household waste. High levels of Cu (712, 528, and 496 mg/kg), exceeding the new Dutch list action value, were determined for soil near the printer roller dumping area, sediment from Lianjiang River, and soil from a plastic burn site, respectively. A more thorough study is underway to elucidate the extent of contamination of toxic pollutants in different ecological compartments to establish whether these pollutants are bioaccumulated and biomagnified through food chains. Assessments of human health impacts from oral intake, inhalation, and dermal contact will be subsequently investigated.
Twenty-nine air samples of total suspended particles (TSP, particles less than 30–60 μm) and thirty samples of particles with aerodynamic diameter smaller than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) were collected at Guiyu, an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling site in southeast China from 16 August 2004 to 17 September 2004. The results showed that mass concentrations contained in TSP and PM2.5 were 124±44.1 and 62.12±20.5 μg m−3, respectively. The total sum of 16 USEPA priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) associated with TSP and PM2.5 ranged from 40.0 to 347 and 22.7 to 263 ng m−3, respectively. Five-ring and six-ring PAHs accounted for 73% of total PAHs. The average concentration of benzo(a) pyrene was 2–6 times higher than in other Asian cities. Concentrations of Cr, Cu and Zn in PM2.5 of Guiyu were 4–33 times higher than in other Asian countries. In general, there were significant correlations between concentrations of individual contaminants in TSP with PM2.5 (i.e. PAHs, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, Mn except Ni and As). The high concentrations of both PAHs and heavy metals in air of Guiyu may impose a serious environmental and health concern. Cytotoxicity of the extract of TSP and PM2.5 of ten 24 h samples collected against human promonocytic leukemia cell line U937 (ATCC 1593.2) was determined by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide cytotoxicity assay. The results showed that under the same concentrations of extract, PM2.5 cytotoxicity was 2–4 times higher than TSP.
Quantities of end-of-life electronics (or e-waste) around the world keep growing. More than 1.36 million metric tons of e-waste were discarded, mainly in landfills, in the U.S. in 2005, and e-waste is projected to grow in the next few years. This paper explores issues relating to planning future e-waste regulation and management systems in the U.S. It begins by reviewing the existing U.S. recycling systems in the U.S. to establish the importance of developing public responses. Other countries and regions around the world have already legislated and implemented electronic takeback and recycling systems. To establish the context of existing experience, e-waste management systems in the European Union, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are explored. The paper then discusses what specific conditions are expected to influence the acceptability and implementation in the U.S. A key consideration is the cultural imperative in the U.S. for market-driven solutions that enable competition. Given this context, a solution is proposed that is designed to ensure a proper end-of-life option while at the same time establishing a competitive market for reuse and recycling services. The solution, termed e-Market for Returned Deposit, begins with a deposit paid by consumers to sellers at the time of purchase, electronically registered and tracked via a radio-frequency identification device (RFID) placed on the product. At end-of-life, consumers consult an Internet-enabled market in which firms compete to receive the deposit by offering consumers variable degrees of return on the deposit. After collection of the computer by the selected firm, the cyberinfrastructure utilizes the RFID to transfer the deposit to the winning firm when recycled. If the firm chooses to refurbish or resell the computer in lieu of recycling, the transfer is deferred until true end-of-life processing. Finally the paper discusses the domestic and international consequences of the implementation of the proposed design.
This paper considers the importation of used personal computers (PCs) in Peru and domestic practices in their production, reuse, and end-of-life processing. The empirical pillars of this study are analysis of government data describing trade in used and new computers and surveys and interviews of computer sellers, refurbishers, and recyclers. The United States is the primary source of used PCs imported to Peru. Analysis of shipment value (as measured by trade statistics) shows that 87-88% of imported used computers had a price higher than the ideal recycle value of constituent materials. The official trade in end-of-life computers is thus driven by reuse as opposed to recycling. The domestic reverse supply chain of PCs is well developed with extensive collection, reuse, and recycling. Environmental problems identified include open burning of copper-bearing wires to remove insulation and landfilling of CRT glass. Distinct from informal recycling in China and India, printed circuit boards are usually not recycled domestically but exported to Europe for advanced recycling or to China for (presumably) informal recycling. It is notable that purely economic considerations lead to circuit boards being exported to Europe where environmental standards are stringent, presumably due to higher recovery of precious metals.
This paper shows that increases in the minimum wage rate can have ambiguous effects on the working hours and welfare of employed workers in competitive labor markets. The reason is that employers may not comply with the minimum wage legislation and instead pay a lower subminimum wage rate. If workers are risk neutral, we prove that working hours and welfare are invariant to the minimum wage rate. If workers are risk averse and imprudent (which is the empirically likely case), then working hours decrease with the minimum wage rate, while their welfare may increase.
Reverse supply chains for the reuse, recycling, and disposal of goods are globalizing. This article critically reviews the environmental, economic, and social issues associated with international reuse and recycling of personal computers. Computers and other e-waste are often exported for reuse and recycling abroad. On the environmental side, our analysis suggests that the risk of leaching of toxic materials in computers from well-managed sanitary landfills is very small. On the other hand, there is an increasing body of scientific evidence that the environmental impacts of informal recycling in developing countries are serious. On the basis of existing evidence informal recycling is the most pressing environmental issue associated with e-waste. Socially, used markets abroad improve access to information technology by making low-priced computers available. Economically, the reuse and recycling sector provides employment. Existing policies efforts to manage e-waste focus on mandating domestic recycling systems and reducing toxic content of processes. We argue that existing policy directions will mitigate but not solve the problem of the environmental impacts of informal recycling. There are many opportunities yet to be explored to develop policies and technologies for reuse/recycling systems which are environmentally safe, encourage reuse of computers, and provide jobs.
The total energy and fossil fuels used in producing a desktop computer with 17-in. CRT monitor are estimated at 6400 megajoules (MJ) and 260 kg, respectively. This indicates that computer manufacturing is energy intensive: the ratio of fossil fuel use to product weight is 11, an order of magnitude larger than the factor of 1-2 for many other manufactured goods. This high energy intensity of manufacturing, combined with rapid turnover in computers, results in an annual life cycle energy burden that is surprisingly high: about 2600 MJ per year, 1.3 times that of a refrigerator. In contrast with many home appliances, life cycle energy use of a computer is dominated by production (81%) as opposed to operation (19%). Extension of usable lifespan (e.g. by reselling or upgrading) is thus a promising approach to mitigating energy impacts as well as other environmental burdens associated with manufacturing and disposal.
This study examined trace metal contamination of sediments in Guiyu, China where primitive e-waste processing activities have been carried out. It was found that some river sediments in Guiyu were contaminated with Cd (n.d.-10.3mg/kg), Cu (17.0-4540mg/kg), Ni (12.4-543mg/kg), Pb (28.6-590mg/kg), and Zn (51.3-324mg/kg). The (206)Pb/(207)Pb and (208)Pb/(207)Pb ratios of the Pb-contaminated sediments of Lianjiang (1.1787+/-0.0057 and 2.4531+/-0.0095, respectively) were lower than those of Nanyang River (1.1996+/-0.0059 and 2.4855+/-0.0082, respectively), indicating a significant input of non-indigenous Pb with low (206)Pb/(207)Pb and (208)Pb/(207)Pb ratios. Copper, Pb and Zn in the non-residual fractions noticeably increased in the contaminated sediments compared to those in the uncontaminated sediments. A genuine concern is associated with potential transport of the contaminated sediments downstream and enhanced solubility and mobility of trace metals in the non-residual fractions.
Guiyu, China is infamous for its involvement in primitive e-waste processing and recycling activities. Freshwater samples were collected in and outside of Guiyu for dissolved metal analysis. It was found that dissolved metal concentrations were higher in Lianjiang and Nanyang River within Guiyu than the reservoir outside of Guiyu. Lianjiang was enriched with dissolved As, Cr, Li, Mo, Sb and Se, while Nanyang River had elevated dissolved Ag, Be, Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn. Temporal distributions of the metals suggested recent discharges of metals attributable to a strong acid leaching operation of e-waste, where dissolved Ag, Cd, Cu and Ni (0.344+/-0.014, 0.547+/-0.074, 87.6+/-3.0 and 93.0+/-1.4 microg/L, respectively) were significantly elevated. Pb isotopic composition of dissolved Pb confirmed that more than one non-indigenous Pb were present in Lianjiang and Nanyang River. In summary, it was evident that the riverine environment of Guiyu was heavily impacted by e-waste related activities.
Surface soils and combusted residue from a village located in southeast China, which has been intensely involved in the dismantling and "recycling" of computer parts (e-waste) for the past decade, were analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). Total PBDE concentrations were highest in combusted residue of plastic chips and cables collected from a residential area (33,000-97,400 ng/g, dry wt), in soils from an acid leaching site (2720-4250 ng/g, dry wt), and a printer roller dump site (593-2890 ng/g, dry wt). BDE-209 was the most dominant congener (35-82%) among the study sites indicating the prevalence of commercial Deca-BDE, however signature congeners from commercial Penta- and Octa-BDE were also found. PCDD/F concentrations were also highest in soil from the acid leaching site (12,500-89,800 pg/g, 203-1100 pg WHO-TEQ/g, dry wt) and in combusted residue (13,500-25,300 pg/g, 84.3-174 pg WHO-TEQ/g, dry wt) and were comparable to PCDD/F levels of some open dumping sites in Asian developing countries. Of the e-waste activities, acid leaching and open burning emitted the highest concentrations of PBDEs and PCDD/Fs. This study is among the very few studies dealing with the important issue of pollution generated from crude e-waste recycling. Our results showthatthe crude processing of e-waste has become one of the major contributors of PBDEs and PCDD/Fs to the terrestrial environment.
Adverse selection is a significant contributor to market failure in secondary personal computer (PC) markets. Signaling can act as a potential solution to adverse selection and facilitate superior remarketing of second-hand PCs. Signaling is a means whereby usage information can be utilized to enhance consumer perception of both value and utility of used PCs and, therefore, promote lifetime extension for these systems. This can help mitigate a large portion of the environmental impact associated with PC system manufacture. In this paper, the computer buying and selling behavior of consumers is characterized via a survey of 270 Irish residential users. Results confirm the existence of adverse selection in the Irish market with 76% of potential buyers being unwilling to purchase and 45% of potential vendors being unwilling to sell a used PC. The so-called "closet affect" is also apparent with 78% of users storing their PC after use has ceased. Results also indicate that consumers place a higher emphasis on specifications when considering a second-hand purchase. This contradicts their application needs which are predominantly Internet and word-processing/spreadsheet/presentation applications, 88% and 60% respectively. Finally, a market solution utilizing self monitoring and reporting technology (SMART) sensors for the purpose of real time usage monitoring is proposed, that can change consumer attitudes with regard to second-hand computer equipment.
Conference Paper
Computer purchase, operation and disposition patterns are characterized via a survey of about 1,000 Japanese residential users. The mains purposes are a) to better characterize the energy burden of the national IT infrastructure and b) to understand the status and prospects of the market for used equipment. Results include that the average length between buying new PCs in is 2.9 years, older computers typically spend 2.8 years unused in closets before next disposition (donation, recycling, or other). These and other results are used to estimate that annual life cycle energy burden of home PCs in Japan is 9.7 × 10<sup>10</sup> megajoules (MJ), 0.64% of total energy demand. Considering prospects for the used market, apparently there is a large untapped potential supply of used computers: only about 13% of users reported having sold or purchased a used PC, and 55% said that they had never considered selling a computer. There is likely a "hole" in the supply of mid-level used PCs (2-4 years old), with high-end ones (1-2 years old) being sold by power users buying new machines, and low-end ones (5-6 year) coming from storage. Potential demand is less promising: users report many concerns about purchasing used computers, such as warranties, reliability, and desire to have "my own" computer. There is likely much higher demand for used PCs in neighboring countries in developing Asia. Prompt reselling of used computers by Japanese users could potentially open a door to supplying inexpensive, quality computers for the export market.
Computer and internet use in the United States: 2003
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Computer Industry Almanac (CIA) Inc. PCs in-use reached nearly 1B in 2006 USA accounts for over 24 percent of PCs in-use Atmospheric levels and cytotoxicity of PAHs and heavy metals in TSP and PM2.5 at an electronic waste recycling site in southeast China
  • Computers Schools-Canada Deng
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Assessment of gold recovery processes in Bangalore, India and evaluation of an alternative recycling path for printed wiring boards, a case study. Diploma Thesis at the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Planning, Regional Resource Management at the ETH Zurich
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Keller M. Assessment of gold recovery processes in Bangalore, India and evaluation of an alternative recycling path for printed wiring boards, a case study. Diploma Thesis at the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Planning, Regional Resource Management at the ETH Zurich. October; 2006.
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