Article

Waste electric and electronic toys: Management practices and characterisation

Authors:
  • Universitat Jaume I. Castellón. Spain
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Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to characterise, both physically and chemically, waste electric and electronic toys, belonging to the category 7 of the Directive, 2012/19/UE, in order to obtain information about the generation and composition of this waste which is not widely found in the literature. For this, a campaign was designed with the aim of collecting a representative sample of waste toys in different schools in a Spanish town. Altogether 1014.25 kg of waste toys were collected, of which 31.83% corresponded to the electric and electronic fraction, which is the object of study. The collected wastes were divided into subcategories and a representative sample of each was one used to characterise them physically and chemically. Physical characterisation provided information about the materials they were made of, the electrical and electronic parts, fixing and assembly systems, and so forth. The results showed that the weight of a toy is comprised of 72.30% of plastics, 12.07% of electrical and electronic components, 4.47% of metals, and 11.15% other materials. In general, the most common types of polymers were PS, PP and ABS. Chemical characterisation made it possible to analyse the composition of the plastic components, which is information that is essential to be able to determine the feasibility of recovering the resulting fractions. The results showed that the content of hazardous substances in these plastics is far below the limits stipulated in Directive 2002/95/EC (RoSH Directive). The findings of this study show a need for a specific management system for this fraction of domestic wastes and a wide range of potential reusability of the discarded toys since 65% of the toys from the collected sample worked in perfect condition. We also found that the end-of-life is one of the aspects that have not been considered during their design as both materials and disassembly sequence do not facilitate the end-of-life of this type of wastes. This information could be used to improve the ecodesign of electrical and electronic equipment toys regarding their end-of-life. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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... From the designer's perspective, end-of-life (EOL) requirements are not currently taken into account during the design process of toys and, therefore, electrical and electronic toys have gener- ally complex disassembly sequences, difficult access to electrical and/or electronic components and a wide variety of incompatible materials, which hamper their potential for recycling and reuse [3]. This is mainly due to a lack of knowledge by designers about the potential valorisation processes applicable at the EOL of kind of products. ...
... The results they obtained from several campaigns run between 2007 and 2009 showed that a significant number of toys could be repaired and/or reused. Pérez-Belis et al. [3] characterized and disassembled a represen- tative sample of electrical and electronic toys obtained from a campaign in which 1 t of waste electrical and electronic toys were collected from different Spanish educational centres. Sixty-five per cent of the toys collected worked properly, so they had a significant potential for reuse. ...
... The proposed design recommendations are classified accord- ing to the Ecodesign Strategy Wheel of Brezet and van Hemel [45]. While some of these recommendations come from the physical char- acterization of a representative sample of elec- trical and electronic toys [3], others have been adapted from the environmental requirements of some ecolabelling systems focused on toys [46][47][48][49][50][51]. In addition to this, more recommenda- tions may be added if needed. ...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the influence that environmental education in eco-design has on industrial design engineer students facing the design of electrical and electronic toys. From the designer's perspective, eco-design education improves the extent to which environmental requirements are incorporated into the design process of electrical and electronic equipment, thus allowing for the development of products with enhanced environmental performance and greater potential for reuse or recycling. Taking electrical and electronic toys as a target product category, a workshop intended for students of bachelor's and master's degrees related to Industrial Design Engineering, was organized in a Spanish University. The main objective was to determine the extent to which designers include environmental recommendations into the process of designing their products and what type of recommendations they incorporate. In addition, this study determines differences among students from different educational profiles and analyzes the willingness of designers and future designers to participate in this kind of initiatives. The results suggest that training designers in the end-of-life of products and their environmental issues in a practical way makes them more willing to incorporate environmental requirements into the design process of electrical and electronic toys.
... In 2010, it was estimated that less than half of the annually generated WEEE is separately collected and appropriately managed under the compliance schemes in the EU, varying from 1.2 kg in Romania to 17.2 kg per capita in Sweden (Eurostat, 2013;Huisman et al., 2007). Studies indicate that the rest of WEEE is collected and treated informally by unregistered enterprises or solid waste recyclers (Achillas et al., 2010;Papaoikonomou et al., 2009), illegally exported abroad (Li et al., 2013;Nnorom and Osibanjo, 2008;Torretta et al., 2013) or disposed with mixed waste into landfills (Bernstad et al., 2011;Darby and Obara, 2005;Gutiérrez et al., 2010;Melissen, 2006;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). Moreover, a considerable portion of endof-use EEE is still lying in homes or stocks waiting for a decision of final disposal (Chancerel, 2010;Gutiérrez et al., 2010;Ongondo and Williams, 2011;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013;Polák and Drápalová, 2012). ...
... Studies indicate that the rest of WEEE is collected and treated informally by unregistered enterprises or solid waste recyclers (Achillas et al., 2010;Papaoikonomou et al., 2009), illegally exported abroad (Li et al., 2013;Nnorom and Osibanjo, 2008;Torretta et al., 2013) or disposed with mixed waste into landfills (Bernstad et al., 2011;Darby and Obara, 2005;Gutiérrez et al., 2010;Melissen, 2006;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). Moreover, a considerable portion of endof-use EEE is still lying in homes or stocks waiting for a decision of final disposal (Chancerel, 2010;Gutiérrez et al., 2010;Ongondo and Williams, 2011;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013;Polák and Drápalová, 2012). ...
... The evaluation of the implementation of the WEEE Directive in the EU Member States shows that the returns of appliances lighter than 1 kg are currently very low for all WEEE recovery systems in the EU level (Huisman et al., 2007). Further, several studies indicate that a large fraction of small end-of-use EEE such as mobile phones do not currently enter the WEEE recovery systems but lie around not in use (Chancerel, 2010;Gutiérrez et al., 2010;Ongondo and Williams, 2011;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013;Polák and Drápalová, 2012;Tanskanen and Butler, 2007) or, even worse, are disposed as inappropriate ways such as with mixed waste (Bernstad et al., 2011;Darby and Obara, 2005;Gutiérrez et al., 2010;Melissen, 2006;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). ...
... The evaluation of the implementation of the WEEE Directive in the EU Member States shows that the returns of appliances lighter than 1 kg are currently very low for all WEEE recovery systems in the EU level (Huisman et al., 2007). Further, several studies indicate that a large fraction of small end-of-use EEE such as mobile phones do not currently enter the WEEE recovery systems but lie around not in use (Chancerel, 2010;Gutiérrez et al., 2010;Ongondo and Williams, 2011;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013;Polák and Drápalová, 2012;Tanskanen and Butler, 2007) or, even worse, are disposed as inappropriate ways such as with mixed waste (Bernstad et al., 2011;Darby and Obara, 2005;Gutiérrez et al., 2010;Melissen, 2006;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, the legislative implementation and the development of the WEEE recovery infrastructure in Finland are described. Further, the realisation of regional WEEE recovery system in the Oulu region is introduced and, finally, the results of questionnaire survey on consumers’ perceptions toward WEEE recycling in the city of Oulu are presented. It can be stated that the development of the Finnish WEEE recovery infrastructure has succeeded while the mandatory recycling percentages have been satisfied. Additionally, it seems that the regional collection system in the Oulu area is functional and qualifies well in its task. On the grounds of the survey it can be asserted that the regional WEEE collection network is relatively well-known among local residents, yet only half of the respondents have chosen to take active use of it. Therefore, the conclusion of this work is that, currently, the weakest link of the Finnish WEEE recovery system is the consumer. Ultimately, information and communication will be the key to fully realize the potential of WEEE recovery and to establish a sustainable WEEE recovery system.
... This campaign called ''Extend the life of your toys'' was organised in pre-and primary schools. The objectives, development and characterisation of the electrical and electronic toys that were collected can be found in Pérez-Belis et al. (2013). ...
... The amount of toys collected during all the campaign (grouping the three actions) was 1014.25 kg. The average number of kilograms of toys collected per child from each environmental education action is shown in Table 11, approximately 31.83% of them being WEEE (Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). ...
Article
This paper reports on a project focused on obtaining the current consumption and disposal habits of electrical and electronic toys from a survey aimed at parents of children of nine pre- and primary schools. In addition, it is also focused on identifying the most effective way of transmitting environmental information to parents and children to promote the collection of electrical and electronic toys at their end-of-life. The study was implemented in a Spanish municipality. With regard to the consumption habits, aspects related to the amount of toys that children receive annually and percentage of those which are electrical and electronic toys have been obtained and classified according to the family size. Results from Chi-squared analysis and Ordinal Logistic Regression show that there is a statistically significance relationship among these variables. Regarding disposal habits, aspects related to the reasons and way for discarding electrical and electronic toys, time that toys are kept at home or the willingness to rent or buy second hand e-toys have been obtained. What really attracts attention is that, apart from consumers who donate the toy to family or social associations, 67.1% of consumers discard them along with other waste fractions in domestic bins, whereas only 32.9% do so at recycling points, as Directive 2012/19/EU requires. To increase this percentage, three environmental education actions (distinguishing from each other by the way used to transmit the environmental information: paper, audiovisual or personal communication) have been designed, applied and evaluated their efficiency according to the amount of waste toys collected. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
... The management system developed for WEEE management is not the same in every part of the world. For this reason, to apply any WEEE management framework in different countries depends on the different characteristics of each country, and the existing WEEE management systems [45][46][47][48][49][50]. In this light, a systematic procedure must be included that considers all stakeholders who have specialized knowledge and expertise in the field in order to enhance the decision-making processes. ...
... The management system developed for WEEE management is not the same in every part of the world. For this reason, to apply any WEEE management framework in different countries depends on the different characteristics of each country, and the existing WEEE management systems [46][47][48][49][50][51]. In this light, a systematic procedure must be included that considers all stakeholders who have specialized knowledge and expertise in the field in order to enhance the decision-making processes. ...
Article
Full-text available
The effective management of solid waste, including waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in developing countries poses significant challenges. This paper reports on the development and utilization of a multi-criteria tool to improve the management of WEEE in Agbogbloshie, in Ghana. The tool was able to successfully evaluate key economic, social and environmental factors faced by workers and to suggest areas for improvement. In particular, the evaluation and comparison of different scenarios suggested that the best solution is the evolution from informal to formal management of WEEE, with workers provided with personal protective equipment, and the introduction of refurbishment activities, with the sale of components in the second-hand market. While it would require further use in other contexts, the tool could be adapted and employed for a range of other waste streams and in other developing countries.
... In such situation, the attitude of consumers is of significant importance as they have to decide what they need to do with existing products after reaching their end of life (Bovea et al., 2018). Moreover, products having enough value but are replaced by the technologically advanced products are sometimes kept at home rather than disposing, reselling and/or making them available for the possible recycling (Pérez-Belis et al., 2013), thus creating an alarming threat for the both human and environment (Kochan et al., 2016). ...
... Therefore, further remanufacturing for closing the loop of supply chain is dependent on the availability of the returned end of life products in the market (Jena and Sarmah, 2014). However, generally consumers do not make their end of life products available to the market, therefore they are not brought back within the closed loop of supply chain (Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). In addition of being the suppliers of the products, the role of the consumers is extremely important for the manufacturers as well. ...
Article
Full-text available
Improper management of electronic waste (e-waste) is becoming a threat globally and emerges as the most recent and dangerous environmental issue that is abruptly affecting ecological and human health. In such scenario, manufacturers need to play their role in accepting responsibility to take care of the waste when they reach their end of life. For said purpose, the present study identified factors by which manufacturer can encourage end-consumers to reverse the products, at their discretion, when it reach end of life. Factors identified from literature were prioritised by using analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Results of the present study will help the manufacturers in devising their strategies for marketing and customer relationship management in a way that they can encourage consumers to reverse the products when it reach end of life.
... In such situation, the attitude of consumers is of significant importance as they have to decide what they need to do with existing products after reaching their end of life (Bovea et al., 2018). Moreover, products having enough value but are replaced by the technologically advanced products are sometimes kept at home rather than disposing, reselling and/or making them available for the possible recycling (Pérez-Belis et al., 2013), thus creating an alarming threat for the both human and environment (Kochan et al., 2016). ...
... Therefore, further remanufacturing for closing the loop of supply chain is dependent on the availability of the returned end of life products in the market (Jena and Sarmah, 2014). However, generally consumers do not make their end of life products available to the market, therefore they are not brought back within the closed loop of supply chain (Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). In addition of being the suppliers of the products, the role of the consumers is extremely important for the manufacturers as well. ...
Article
Abstract: Improper management of electronic waste (e-waste) is becoming a threat globally and emerges as the most recent and dangerous environmental issue that is abruptly affecting ecological and human health. In such scenario, manufacturers need to play their role in accepting responsibility to take care of the waste when they reach their end of life. For said purpose, the present study identified factors by which manufacturer can encourage end-consumers to reverse the products, at their discretion, when it reach end of life. Factors identified from literature were prioritised by using analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Results of the present study will help the manufacturers in devising their strategies for marketing and customer relationship management in a way that they can encourage consumers to reverse the products when it reach end of life.
... Results for the equipment type ''toys" require special attention, since a similar selective collection campaign was organised in 2011 but focused only on collecting unused and waste toys -more specifically electrical and electronic toys (Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). 322.84 kg of unused and waste electrical and electronic toys were collected in contrast to the 6.8 kg collected in this campaign. ...
... The equipment types that satisfy this criterion were: vacuum cleaners, toasters, sandwich makers, hand blenders, juicers, coffee makers, hairdryers, scales, irons, heaters and toys. Toys were not considered because a detailed study focused only on this equipment type had been previously conducted (Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). Finally, kettles, thermometers and toothbrushes, in spite of reaching the 2% criterion only by units, were also included due to their generalised use in households. ...
Article
This paper is focused on characterising small waste electric and electronic equipment, specifically small household appliances, from two different points of views: disassembly properties and material identification. The sample for this characterisation was obtained from a selective collection campaign organised in Castellón de la Plana (Spain). A total amount of 833.7kg (749 units) of small waste electric and electronic equipment was collected, of which 23.3% by weight and 22.4% by units belonged to the subcategory household equipment. This subcategory, composed of appliances such as vacuum cleaners, toasters, sandwich makers, hand blenders, juicers, coffee makers, hairdryers, scales, irons and heaters, was first disassembled in order to analyse different aspects of the disassembly process for each equipment type: type of joints, ease of identification of materials, ease of access to joints for extracting components, ease of separation of components from the whole, uniformity of tools needed for the disassembly process and possibility of reassembly after disassembly. Results show that the most common joints used in these equipment types are snap-fits and screws, although some permanent joints have also been identified. Next, the material composition of each component of each appliance belonging to each equipment type was identified visually and with additional mechanical trials and testing. It can be observed that plastic and electric/electronic components are present in all the equipment types analysed and are also the material fractions that appear with higher percentages in the material composition: 41.1wt% and 39.1wt% for the plastic fraction and electric/electronic components, respectively. The most common plastics are: polypropylene (PP), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC), while the most common electric/electronic components are: cable, plug and printed circuit boards. Results also show that disassembly properties and material characterisation vary widely from one equipment type to another.
... However, the returns of appliances lighter than 1 kg are very low (Huisman et al., 2007). Several studies indicate that a large fraction of small EEE do not currently enter the WEEE recovery systems but are not in use (Chancerel, 2010;Gutiérrez et al., 2010;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013;Polák and Drápalová, 2012;Tanskanen and Butler, 2007). Considering that they are often functional equipment, we do not consider them end-of-life (EOL) equipment, but rather end-of-use, indicating their potential use prospect (Pongrácz et al., 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines consumers' awareness and perceptions towards mobile phone recycling and re-use. The results are based on a survey conducted in the city of Oulu, Finland, and analysed in the theoretical framework based on the theories of planned behaviour (TPB) and value-belief-norm (VBN). The findings indicate that consumers' awareness of the importance and existence of waste recovery system is high; however, awareness has not translated to recycling behaviour. The survey reveals that 55% of respondents have two or more unused mobile phones at homes. The more phones stored at homes, the more often reasons 'I don't know where to return' and/or 'have not got to do it yet' were mentioned. This indicates that proximity and the convenience of current waste management system are inadequate in promoting the return of small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). To facilitate re-use, and the highest level of recovery, consumers will need to be committed to return end-of-use electronics to WEEE collection centres without delays. Further, the supply and demand of refurbished mobile phones do not meet at this moment in Finland due to consumer's storing habits versus expectations of recent features under guarantee and unrealistic low prizes. The study also points out that, in order to change current storing habits of consumers, there is an explicit need for more information and awareness on mobile phone collection in Finland, especially on regarding retailers' take-back. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
... Major discharge sources of PBDEs are (1) open dumping and stockpiling, (2) crushing/grinding processes, and (3) open burning or uncontrolled thermal processing of printed wiring boards (PWBs) (Kajiwara and Takigami, 2011). Although there is a rich literature about e-waste management practices, disassembly process, processing costs and environmental impacts (Aizawa et al., 2008;Chancerel et al., 2009;Perez-Belis et al., 2013;Ardente et al., 2014), it is still difficult to find a comparison of e-waste recycling process between different developing countries. ...
... For estimating material content of (W)EEE we used information from several previous extensive studies. These include material composition for major consumer products (Oguchi et al., 2011;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013;UNEP, 2013), and estimation of material content for major WEEE groups treated in recycling operations (Biganzoli et al., 2015). The latter we applied to product categories which material content was not covered in existing literature. ...
Article
For almost two decades waste electrical and electronic equipment, WEEE or e-waste, has been considered a growing problem that has global consequences. The value of recovered materials, primarily in precious and base metals, has prompted some parts of the world to informally and inappropriately process e-waste causing serious environmental and human health issues. Efforts in tackling this issue have been limited and in many ways unsuccessful. The global rates for formal e-waste treatment are estimated to be below the 20% mark, with the majority of end-of-life (EoL) electronic devices still ending up in the landfills or processed through rudimentary means. Industrial confidentiality regarding device composition combined with insufficient reporting requirements has made the task of simply characterizing the problem difficult at a global scale. To address some of these key issues, this paper presents a critical overview of existing statistics and estimations for e-waste in an Australia context, including potential value and environmental risks associated with metals recovery. From our findings, in 2014, on average per person, Australians purchased 35 kg of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) while disposed of 25 kg of WEEE, and possessed approximately 320 kg of EEE. The total amount of WEEE was estimated at 587 kt worth about US$ 370 million if all major metals are fully recovered. These results are presented over the period 2010–2014, detailed for major EEE product categories and metals, and followed by 2015–2024 forecast. Our future projection, with the base scenario fixing EEE sales at 35 kg per capita, predicts stabilization of e-waste generation in Australia at 28–29 kg per capita, with the total amount continuing to grow along with the population growth.
... The different categories result in highly heterogeneous composition of WEEE, which can vary significantly according to both the type and age of discarded device. Approximately 20% of the total weight of electric and electronic equipment can be attributed to the plastic fraction (P erez- Belis et al., 2013), consisting of more than 15 different types of engineering plastics including polystyrene, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, polycarbonate blends, high-impact polystyrene and polypropylene as the most common ones (Martinho et al., 2012;Wang and Xu, 2014). Along with plastics, metals represent the most abundant WEEE components: common, precious as well as heavy metals can account for up to 65% of WEEE total weight. ...
Article
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste flow in developed countries. Although it is being regarded as an urban stock due to its composition in terms of valuable materials, the presence of hazardous substances raises great concern for their possible adverse effects on both human and environmental health. This work focuses on assessing the distribution of toxic materials after WEEE mechanical processing. Both input waste and output flows were sampled at a full-scale plant and characterised by their chemical-physical composition and toxicological response. The NOAEL concentrations were also estimated for each analysed flow. Experimental results showed that the mechanical selection process was efficient in removing the plastics from the metallic scraps, mainly aluminium and copper. However the latter output fractions were characterised by a higher potential toxicity than the input waste. This outcome suggests the need for further improvement of separation yields, in order to reduce the interactions among the hazardous substances affecting the toxic response of recovered materials. The content of these substances in electrical devices should also be lowered, so that the identification of NOAEL concentrations, evaluated in the present study as a first attempt in this direction, could be a suitable strategy.
... Thus, light-weight and small EEEs are taken to selected collection outlets, transferred to metal managers or often just discarded at municipal solid waste containers and subsequently landfilled. As of 2010, Spain has a Ewaste collection rate of only 3.3 kg/inhabitant/year, a figure that is way behind those of its European counterparts such as Norway (28.1 kg/inhabitant/year) or Switzerland (16.6 kg/inhabitant/year) (Perez-Belis et al., 2013). In Spain, Royal Decree (RD) 208/2005 on E-waste management transformed the European Directive into a national legislation (on February 25, 2005), thereby conveying that for all new EEEs, the producers are required to establish and finance individual or collective waste management systems to ensure that all products on the market were collected and recycled appropriately, without added cost to consumers (Queiruga et al., 2012). ...
Article
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.
... In addition the reuse of its materials could be an important potential supply of resources (Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). Moreover, the issue of the more efficient use of waste, including WEEE, is emphasised by the EU in 'A zero waste programme for Europe' (COM 398, 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
The Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations (WEEE) are intended to reduce the amount of e-waste being disposed of within the EU, and require EEE producers to pay for its reuse, recycling and recovery. It is estimated that 25% of the mass of WEEE produced in the EU-27 is collected and processed, and the remaining 75% is not recorded. In Poland a total of 1.5 kg/person was collected in 2008, and 4.4 kg/person in 2014, but it is not enough at the moment because in 2021 Poland will be obliged to recover 11 kg/person. The paper presents the barriers and challenges of the e-waste management system in Poland including an analysis of the legal, technological, ecological and market aspects, focusing on the recovery of non-energy raw materials. It was shown that the existing system of waste collection with Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) based on EU regulations required some improvements to boost recovery and recycling of valuable materials and to be in line with the strategy for a circular economy. Despite the fact that there are over 1,500 companies involved in waste collection in Poland and waste is picked up for free from citizens, there are more and more activities promoting proper waste segregation, and waste collection is still the weakest link. The recycling companies are mainly SMEs that already implement the latest technologies and strategies for CSR and ISO 14001 certification and they are able to recover valuable resources. However, the variability of market conditions (low metal price) and regulations, as well as the dominance of the large Organisation of Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recovery (OEEER), results in competition with one another in order to obtain the lowest price, and as a result the recycling companies do not fully exploit their capacities. The consequence of these activities is the development of a grey zone. However, due to the increasing importance of materials recovery from waste and the fact that it is a priority in the most recent strategic documents in Poland, it should undergo dynamic development.
... However, their replaced EEE are frequently stored at home instead of being made immediately available to the reuse or recycling flow when no longer used. This behaviour is frequently shown for small EEE (Chancerel, 2010;Guti errez et al., 2010;Ongondo and Williams, 2011a;P erez-Belis et al., 2013;Pol ak and Dr apalov a, 2012). On the other hand, EEE is rarely repaired when it stops working. ...
Article
The European legal framework for Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) (Directive 2012/19/EU) prioritises reuse strategies against other valorisation options. Along these lines, this paper examines the awareness and perceptions of reusing small household EEE from the viewpoint of the different stakeholders involved in its end-of-life: repair centres, second-hand shops and consumers. Direct interviews were conducted in which an intended survey, designed specifically for each stakeholder, was answered by a representative sample of each one. The results obtained from repair centres show that small household EEE are rarely repaired, except for minor repairs such as replacing cables, and that heaters, toasters and vacuum cleaners were those most frequently repaired. The difficulty of accessing cheap spare parts or difficulties during the disassembly process are the commonest problems observed by repair technicians. The results obtained from second-hand shops show that irons, vacuum cleaners and heaters are the small household EEE that are mainly received and sold. The results according to consumers indicate that 9.6% of them take their small household EEE to be repaired, while less than 1% has ever bought a second-hand small household EEE. The main arguments for this attitude are they thought that the repair cost would be similar to the price of a new one (for repairs), and hygiene and cleaning reasons (for second-hand sales).
... However, their replaced EEE are frequently stored at home instead of being made immediately available to the reuse or recycling flow when no longer used. This behaviour is frequently shown for small EEE (Chancerel, 2010;Guti errez et al., 2010;Ongondo and Williams, 2011a;P erez-Belis et al., 2013;Pol ak and Dr apalov a, 2012). On the other hand, EEE is rarely repaired when it stops working. ...
Article
This study presents a survey to identify current habits and practices regarding the repair and second-hand purchases of small household electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) in Spain, and to identify the profile of consumers who are more or less prone to this behavior. This can be useful for targeting future awareness campaigns to proper audiences that promote extending the usage life of EEE by repairing and through second-hand purchases. To this end, a survey was designed and conducted with a representative sample size of 400 valid responses obtained through telephone interviews. It allowed the identification of the most frequent small EEE in households, and consumer habits as regards replacement, repairs and second-hand purchases. Consumers used small household EEE for an average of 6.25 years; 9.56% of those interviewed had never repaired broken small household EEE, and only 0.75% had bought second-hand small household EEE at some time. The analysis of the relationship between consumer attitudes and their socio-economic characteristics using logit models indicated that older consumers and females were more prone to repair small household EEE, while older males with medium family incomes tended to purchase second-hand small household EEE more. Finally, consumers indicated that they considered it important that the design and labeling of small household EEE included aspects and information about their durability. The obtained results are useful for designing and targeting future awareness campaigns to proper audiences that promote extending the lifetime of EEE by repairing and second-hand purchases. These actions can help to achieve the minimum recovery targets for preparing for the reuse stated within the waste policy framework.
... There are different causes that prevent the recovery of obsolete EEE. On the one hand, the accelerated progress of technology pushes consumers to replace their EEE which is still in good working condition by other devices with new functionalities (Babbitt et al. 2009), and the old ones are then generally kept at home, rather than being submitted to reuse or recycling processes (Chancerel, 2010;Gutiérrez et al., 2010;Williams, 2011a, 2011b;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013;Polák and Drápalová, 2012). On the other hand, EEE that has stopped working is often disposed of by incorporating it into the recycling cycle, although it could be repaired. ...
Article
This study analyses the current habits and practices towards the store, repair and second-hand purchase of small electrical and electronic devices belonging to the category of information and communication technology (ICT). To this end, a survey was designed and conducted with a representative sample size of 400 individuals through telephone interviews for the following categories: MP3/MP4, video camera, photo camera, mobile phone, tablet, e-book, laptop, hard disk drive, navigator-GPS, radio/radio alarm clock. According to the results obtained, there is a tendency to store disused small ICT devices at home. On average for all the small ICT categories analysed, 73.91% of the respondents store disused small ICT devices at home. Related to the habits towards the repair and second-hand purchase of small ICT devices, 65.5% and 87.6% of the respondents have never taken to repair and have never purchased second-hand, respectively, small ICT devices. This paper provides useful and hitherto unavailable information about the current habits of discarding and reusing ICT devices. It can be concluded that there is a need to implement awareness-raising campaigns to encourage these practices, which are necessary to reach the minimum goals established regarding preparation for reuse set out in the Directive 2012/19/EU for the category small electrical and electronic equipment.
... With the rapid development of economy and the improvement of people's living standard, the use time of electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) becomes shortened, and the speed of upgrading is accelerating in modern society [1,2]. Thus, a large number of EEE waste (WEEE) will also be produced. ...
Article
In this study, polystyrene-b-poly (ethylene/propylene)-b-polystyrene grafted glycidyl methacrylate (SEPS-g-GMA) copolymer was prepared by melt grafting in the mixer. The successful grafting of GMA on the SEPS molecular chain was analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The grafting ratio of SEPS-g-GMA was measured by acid-base titration, which showed that N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP) had a positive effect on the increased grafting ratio of SEPS-g-GMA. The recycled polypropylene (R-PP)/recycled high impact polystyrene (R-HIPS) blends were prepared by a melt extrusion, and the effect of SEPS-g-GMA copolymer with different ratios on the compatibility of blends was studied. The epoxy groups in SEPS-g-GMA copolymer were found to have a chemical reaction with the carboxyl groups in the waste materials. When the grafting ratio of SEPS-g-GMA was 2.44%, the notched impact strength and the elongation at break of the R-PP/R-HIPS blends with 10 phr SEPS-g-GMA reached 7.06 kJ/m² and 34.25%, which were significantly increased by 186.99% and 68.30% compared with that of pure blends, respectively. Moreover, the observed decreased particle size and increased dispersion uniformity improved the compatibility using SEPS-g-GMA. The increased complex viscosity, storage modulus and loss modulus indicated that the chemical reaction between SEPS-g-GMA and R-PP/R-HIPS blends improved the component compatibility among the blends, resulting in the chain entanglement prominently. The presence of SEPS-g-GMA inhibited the degradation and increased the thermal stability of R-PP/R-HIPS blends.
... Literature review of the design guidelines in the DfX context. (Dowie and Simon, 1994;Boothroyd and Dewhurst, 1990;Graedel and Allenby, 1996;Behrendt et al., 1997;Al-Okush and Caudi, 1999;UNE 150062 IN, 2000;Chen, 2001;Hata et al., 2001;Desai and Mital, 2003;Sundin, 2004;Sundin and Bras, 2005;Active Disassembly Research, 2005;Truttmann and Rechberger, 2006;Zuidwijk and Krikke, 2008;Bogue, 2007;Mital et al., 2009;ECMA, 2010;Ijomah and Chiodo, 2010;Hatcher et al., 2011;Huang et al., 2012;Hultgren, 2012;Sundin et al., 2012;Peeters et al., 2012;Watelet, 2013;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013;Lee et al., 2014;Wang, 2014;Poppelaars, 2014;Arnette et al., 2014;Mulder et al., 2014;Smith and Hung, 2015;Sawanishi et al., 2015;Sihvonen and Ritola, 2015;Go et al., 2015). ...
Article
This study presents a methodology that allows the analysis of how an existing product design meets the design guidelines required from the circular economy perspective, and which are the design guidelines that would need to be incorporated into its design to become a better circular design product. For that, as a starting point, the design guidelines required for the circular product design have been identified from an extensive literature review. Then, criteria have been defined to measure the margin of improvement of a product design based on the level of compliance of each circular design guideline, and the relevance of each circular design guideline for the specific product category to which it belongs. Finally, the methodology has been applied to a representative sample of 127 appliances belonging to different categories of small household electrical and electronic equipment. The circular design guidelines related to extending life span and to product/components reuse have been identified as those that more urgently need to be incorporated, while the urgency of those related to connectors or product structure is moderate.
... For example, according to Krause and Townsend [31], the lead concentration of electronic cigarettes exceeded the regulatory threshold by a factor of 1.5-10. Pérez-Belis et al. [32] stated this was similar to concentrations found in other e-waste, such as remote controls and toys. ...
Article
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The importance of reverse logistics has increased owing to environmental factors and recent legislations. In this context, the market for remanufactured goods has become attractive. Manufacturers, retailers, and third-party companies have improved return programs and operations that add value to the return chain for electronic appliances, rather than treating it as a secondary process. The objective of this study is to identify the variables related to value generation in the reverse logistics of electronic products from the perspective of third-party companies. Reverse logistics of electronic products depends much on the context and local regulations; in addition, the fact that there are few studies on developing countries points to an important gap in extant research. This study presents the influence of quality and warranties, processing time, and partnerships between third-party companies, manufacturers, and retailers on the value generation from remanufactured products. These variables are related to optimal results and optimistic expectations for growth among third-party companies. These internal factors, together with an analysis of external factors and product portfolios, complement the scenario description for the cases studied. The main contribution of this study is to highlight the major factors, which are presented in the framework. The lessons learned can be used in other contexts involving third-party companies.
... Electronics waste can lead to leaching of hazardous substances unless properly treated (Storm-Mathisen and Slettemeås 2016). Despite 14 years of implementation of the WEEE 1 Directive in Europe, collection rates for small electronics remain low (Ongondo and Williams, 2011;Pérez-Belis et al., 2013). 20% of young Norwegian adults throw small electronics in the waste bin (Storm-Mathisen and Slettemeås, 2016). ...
Chapter
The constant increase in volume of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), linked to the human health concern and environmental protection, has urged the creation of laws aiming to reuse and recycle this waste stream. The most widely accepted categorization is that of the European Commission, which has divided WEEE into different groups, covering a huge amount of equipment that are formed by a wide variety of materials and produced by the most different techniques. From the purest form of a metal to ceramic composites, from metallic alloys to plastics, a single WEEE can contain more than a thousand compounds. Notably, the most common are copper (Cu), iron (Fe), and aluminum (Al), which are related to electric current and physical structure, and different plastics, which provide a great variety of forms and lightweight. However, this significant heterogeneity of materials in WEEE – even within same category – is the main issue regarding sustainable recycling processes. Rare‐earth elements and precious metals are fundamental for some appliances and, at the same time, aggregate value to WEEE, but their contents per unit in most appliances are negligible. In recent years, due mostly to technological innovations, novel products using new materials are developed faster, originating an unbalanced supply and demand of specific chemical elements. Due to this huge mix of materials, the production of equipment requires different manufacturing techniques and especially new perspectives to make disassembly, reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling processes more technically and economically viable.
Chapter
Introduction: The interaction between different product policies will be crucial for the further advancement of a coherent product policy framework. The Commission has stated that ‘the complex and interlocking approach needed to build a resource-efficient Europe can only be achieved with a policy mix that optimizes synergies and addresses trade-offs between different areas and policies’. In the context of the European Union’s Action Plan for the Circular Economy, one of the tasks set out is: ‘The Commission will examine options and actions for a more coherent policy framework of the different strands of work of its product policy’. This contribution will examine the interactions between the Ecodesign and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directives, and how we can create a better synergy between the two different laws in order to promote recycling. While the WEEE Directive sets the framework for the proper treatment of WEEE, the Ecodesign Directive focuses on requirements that products should comply with when put on the market. The connection between the WEEE Directive and the Ecodesign Directive is expressed in recital 11 and Article 4 in the WEEE Directive, where it is said that ecodesign requirements with the potential to facilitate re-use, dismantling and recovery of WEEE should be promoted. In recital 35 of the Ecodesign Directive, the WEEE Directive is listed as one of the ‘complementary’ laws. The Circular Economy Action Plan also puts emphasis on increased recycling of WEEE and states: ‘In order to promote a better design of these products, the Commission will emphasize circular economy aspects in future product design requirements under the Ecodesign Directive’. Hence, the main focus of this chapter is: how could recyclability issues be taken more into account in the process of setting ecodesign requirements? This chapter builds on a legal analysis and a literature study, as well as three interviews with a production manager at a recycling company, a sustainability manager at Samsung Electronics Nordic and a scientist at Chalmers Industriteknik (CIT), in Sweden. The interviews were conducted in order to elicit practitioners’ perspectives on experienced barriers and the most appropriate ways forward.
Article
When many people work in organized institutions or enterprises, those institutions or enterprises become big meeting places that also have energy, water and resources necessities. One of these necessities is the correct management of the waste that is daily produced by these communities. Universities are a good example of institution where every day a great amount of people go to work or to study. But independently of their task, they use the different services at the University such as cafeterias, canteens, and photocopy and as a result of their activity a cleaning service is also needed. All these activities generate an environmental impact. Nowadays, many Universities have accepted the challenge to minimize this impact applying several measures. One of the impacts to be reduced is the waste generation. The first step to implement measures to implement a waste management plan at a University is to know the composition, the amount and the distribution of the waste generated in its facilities. As the waste composition and generation depend among other things on the climate, these variables should be analysed over one year. This research work estimates the waste generation and composition of a Spanish University, the Universitat Jaume I, during a school year. To achieve this challenge, all the waste streams generated at the University have been identified and quantified emphasizing on those which are not controlled. Furthermore, several statistical analyses have been carried out to know if the season of the year or the day of the week affect waste generation and composition. All this information will allow the University authorities to propose a set of minimization measures to enhance the current management.
Conference Paper
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The building industry contributes approximately 40% of the total waste generated in the European Union (EU). Across the EU a shift towards closing product loops, as part of a transition towards a circular economy, is considered as a promising approach to reduce waste and pollution. Remanufacturing is an example of a strategy which supports this approach. It is applied in various industries that are intensive materials users. It has, however, not been applied in the building sector on a large scale. This is unfortunate, given that buildings offer several favorable key conditions for remanufacturing, such as providing access to high volumes of products, containing high material value, at fixed locations. This paper aims to analyse the human, soft issues for design for remanufacturing at the design stage of products used in the built environment. The methodology used consisted of a literature review followed by a workshop with twenty professionals from the building industry. The workshop approach was developed in a series of EU funded projects. The paper concludes by proposing that, even though the technical barriers to remanufacture building products are low, the soft barriers in the shift towards remanufacturing, on a larger scale, appear to remain high.
Thesis
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With the rise of the circular economy, an initiative that aims at improving resource efficiency and thus, sustainability, a significant amount of research has been conducted about how businesses, cities, countries and regions can transition towards a circular future. Existing definitions of the circular economy do include the concept of consumption or specifically indicate that it is enabled by responsible consumers, besides business models. However, not much has been done describing what the circular economy means for consumption processes, for consumers, and policy initiatives supporting sustainable consumption. This lack of consideration of the consumption side of the circular economy results in the creation and development of solutions and interventions that may not address consumer needs, which can, in turn, prevent the diffusion of circular offerings and interventions. This research project aimed at expanding the knowledge about consumption in the specific context of the circular economy, and it does so by providing insights into three aspects. First, what are the implications of circularity for the consumption process? Second, what are the factors and conditions that enable the acceptance and the adoption of circular offerings by consumers? Lastly, how design tools for circularity incorporate consumption and consumers considerations that can help them create solutions that have a user perspective? The thesis comprises six papers addressing these three topics. The first study was a systematic literature review of the state of the art. Papers 2, 3 and 6 address the second research question about factors and conditions for acceptance and adoption by consumers. Papers 2 and 6 focus on consumer acceptance factors for two product categories, clothes and toys while paper 3 addresses conditions and processes of adoption for a circular practice, clothes swapping, using a social practice perspective. Paper 4 focuses on how consumption changes in a circular economy context based on the analysis of actions performed to access clothes. Paper 5 addressed the question about how circular design tools can integrate these concepts of the consumption process, consumer acceptance factors and adoption of circular practices. Some of the findings presented in these papers include that the consumption process in the circular economy is not only about acquiring, using and disposing of products as suggested before, but it includes additional moments of appropriation,appreciation, devaluation and divestment within the using moment of consumption. Additionally, the process by which the circular economy and circular offerings are going to become mainstream and diffuse in society consists of at least two moments, acceptance and adoption. By having this dual approach, a zoom-in approach, that looks into the individual aspects that drive acceptance and a zoom-out approach to look for the conditions that enable circular offerings to become part of a practice and thus being adopted, circular economy stakeholders can better integrate relevant consumption and consumer considerations. Finally, the analyzed circular design tools are more focused on the production and technical process and don't guide how to engage consumption and consumer aspects. From these findings, it is suggested that circular design tools acknowledge there is a consumption process for the solution they are creating by using the six-moment consumption process, so they can identify what it is that the consumer needs to do concerning their solution. Then they should zoom out and investigate the context of the circular offering and see what elements characterize the practice that serves as the context for the offering (the images, skills,material). It is also essential that they understand how the linkages between those elements can be intervened to facilitate. First, the integration of the offering into the context and second, they must find ways for that new practices to recruit people.
Article
The consumption of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is continuously increasing worldwide and, consequently, so is the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) it generates at its end-of-life. In parallel to this growth, legislation related to this issue has been passed in different countries with the aim of improving the management of WEEE. In order to raise awareness about the situation in which the generation, composition, management or final treatment of this kind of waste currently finds itself, an extensive number of articles have been published around the world. The aim of this paper is to define and analyse the main areas of research on WEEE by offering a broader analysis of the relevant literature in this field published between 1992 and August 2014. The literature researched comprises 307 articles, which are analysed according to the topic they focus on (WEEE management, WEEE generation, WEEE characterisation, social aspects of WEEE, re-use of EEE or economic aspects of WEEE). In addition, a deeper analysis is also presented, which takes into account the temporal evolution (globally and by topic), location of the study, categories and subcategories analysed, etc. © The Author(s) 2014.
Article
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disposal treatment for printed circuit board waste: the developoment of pyrolysis based recycling technology [ Songpol Boonsawat ] Abstract—Disposal treatments of printed circuit board (PCB) waste recently seem to be improper since they all produce a secondary pollutions such as acidification of the soil and heavy metal leached into ground water from landfill and toxicant gasses generates from incineration and material combustion. At present the disposal treatment processes for nonmetallic fraction from PCB waste that have been separated after precious metal separation process are only combustion, landfill and material reused. The most important point is that this nonmetallic fraction from PCB waste can be recovered. Hence, this is a challenge to expose a further separation of materials and materials recovery. From the environmental friendly viewpoint, the only solution to reduce PCB waste problem sustainably is to address the waste material with a proper material recycling technology. The purpose of this study is to determine the suitability of using pyrolysis based recycling as well as to demonstrate its development to be able to process with NMF from PCB. Moreover, the aim is to point out that pyrolysis method can be used as PCB waste disposal treatment and show that now it is an sustainable alternative disposal option for the PCB waste material. Keywords—PCB waste, printed circuit board waste, recycling treatment, PCB waste disposal, pyrolysis based recycling, pyrolysis of PCB,
Article
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Recovering noble metals from Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) will provide an additional income within the disposal process of end-of-life electronic devices. Generally, the recycling process starts with the manual disman-tling of different devices and with sorting of the subdivided products into useful and hazardous materials. A sample of about 21 tonnes of WEEE was dismantled in 14 days to remove Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) that were about 5% weight of the whole sample. Computer PCBs proved to contain the 96% of all the gold present in all types of PCBs of the sample. Computer PCBs were manually dismantled to obtain the easy-to-remove components of the board, namely, the integrated circuits and the processors, which were about 13% weight of the board and 0.1% weight of the whole WEEE sample and contained about 91% of the gold present in the whole board with an average concentration of 2400 μg/g.
Article
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Although principally favorable from a life cycle environmental impact perspective, recycling of plastics from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is not uncontested because of the potential dissipation of hazardous substances into new products. In a study commissioned by the Swiss Foundation for Waste Management (SENS) and the Swiss Association for Information, Communication and Organization Technology (SWICO), the types of plastics occurring in WEEE products and their hazardous substance contents were identified through a literature survey. Considering the results of the survey, actual mass flows of the Swiss WEEE recycling systems and rough estimations of the value added of recycled plastics, large and small electrical household appliances as well as cooling appliances appear to be the WEEE categories with the highest theoretical recycling potential. However, these results are to be considered as tentative due to remaining data gaps and -uncertainties. A more robust and differentiated picture of the recycling potential of plastics from WEEE product categories will be available as soon as the planned sampling campaign will have been performed.
Article
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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.
Article
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Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) pervades modern lifestyles, but its quick obsolescence is resulting in huge quantities of EEE to be disposed of. This fast-growing waste stream has been recognized for its hazard potential. The European Union's (EU) Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive was essentially in response to the toxicity of e-waste - to ensure that it was collected and treated in an environmentally sound manner. Since then, the WEEE Directive has expanded its aims to include recovery of valuable resources as a means to reduce raw material extraction. With these objectives in mind, the Directive sets a common minimum legislative framework for all EU member states. However, the transposition of the Directive into national legislations has meant many differences in actual implementation models. There are 27 national transpositions of the Directive with different definitions, provisions and agreements. Each legislation reflects national situations, whether they are geographical considerations, legislative history, the influence of lobby groups and other national priorities. Although this diversity in legislations has meant massive problems in compliance and enforcement, it provides an opportunity to get an insight into the possible operational models of e-waste legislation. Building on the study by the United Nations University commissioned by the European Commission as part of its 2008 Review of the WEEE Directive, the paper identifies some key features of the Directive as well as legislative and operational differences in transposition and implementation in the various members states. The paper discusses the successes and challenges of the Directive and concludes with lessons learnt from the European experience.
Article
Chinese made toys were analyzed to determine the levels of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cr, Co and Mn) in the products. Toy samples were randomly selected from products available in the shops at Zaria, Kano and Kaduna markets in Nigeria. The toy samples were tested for PVC before analysis. After digestion with concentrated acids (HNO 3 and H 2 O 2), concentrations of the selected heavy metals were determined in triplicate using a flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer. 75% of the toys samples tested positive for PVC. Concentrations of heavy metals in the toys ranged from 2. , for Pb, Cd, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cr, Co and Mn respectively. Both PVC and non-PVC toys contain heavy metals but the concentration of these metals in non-PVC toys are generally less than that of PVC toys. The present study reveals that 17% of the toy samples show high concentration (above USFDA limit) of Lead, Cadmium, Chromium and other metals determined; this poses a threat to children exposed to such toys.
Article
Preserving the natural resources and protecting the natural environment and ecosystems has become an internationally acknowledged prerequisite for sustainable development. In this framework, there have been international initiatives, agreements and cooperation, in parallel with the development of legislation that enforces certain constraints and obligations to industries for the production of their goods. Sending products of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) to landfills should not - at any cost - be considered as an end of life option. Apart from discarding WEEE to open dumpsites or to dispose them to a sanitary landfill, there are other alternatives available for the end of life management of such products. Equipment that is no longer required by its original user could potentially be reused by other potential users. Even when no further use for the EEE product is possible or viable, its components are constructed of valuable materials which could be recycled. However, inside a single EEE product, not all components seem to play equal roles as regards the product’s overall burden to the natural environment. In order to assist EEE manufacturers on their decision making as regards the optimal end of life alternative for their products, a methodology that relies on multicriteria analysis has been developed, in which apart from the economical parameter in the production of an industrial product, the following parameters are also taken into consideration; environmental burden, weight, quantity and ease of disassembly. The “Multicriteria Matrix” methodology is based on ranking all components inside a product as regards the five aforementioned parameters. With the “Multicriteria Matrix”, reuse and recycling of EEE products is highly promoted, since only those parts or components that do not have any residual value (this is only a very small percentage of the product in terms of its overall weight) would end up in a landfill. For the study’s needs, the methodology discussed is applied on “netMod”, an ISDN network terminal which has been established by INTRACOM S.A., one of the leading Greek companies with domestic and international activity. However, the utilisation of “Multicriteria Matrix” methodology for the identification of components with the highest potential benefit is not restricted to the “netMod” case study.
Electronic waste, or e-waste, is an emerging problem as well as a business opportunity of increasing significance, given the volumes of e-waste being generated and the content of both toxic and valuable materials in them. The fraction including iron, copper, aluminium, gold and other metals in e-waste is over 60%, while pollutants comprise 2.70%. Given the high toxicity of these pollutants especially when burned or recycled in uncontrolled environments, the Basel Convention has identified e-waste as hazardous, and developed a framework for controls on transboundary movement of such waste. The Basel Ban, an amendment to the Basel Convention that has not yet come into force, would go one step further by prohibiting the export of e-waste from developed to industrializing countries. Section 1 of this paper gives readers an overview on the e-waste topic—how e-waste is defined, what it is composed of and which methods can be applied to estimate the quantity of e-waste generated. Considering only PCs in use, by one estimate, at least 100 million PCs became obsolete in 2004. Not surprisingly, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) today already constitutes 8% of municipal waste and is one of the fastest growing waste fractions. Section 2 provides insight into the legislation and initiatives intended to help manage these growing quantities of e-waste. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is being propagated as a new
Article
The vastly increasing amounts of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has made it imperative to develop systems that can guarantee selective collection and correct treatment of such waste. The European Union (EU) Directive 2002/96/EC applies to WEEE, but some countries still lack legislation or have not yet devised a waste management system to comply with the law. In this setting, studies that provide information about how WEEE is managed in specific countries or regions can help facilitate shared experiences and increased learning about effective methods. Therefore, this study analyzes how WEEE management systems in Spain emerged, from the earliest drafts of the WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC to its full implementation. The chronological analysis reveals the gradual implementation of each requirement, the problems involved, and the attempted solutions. This analysis in turn indicates which factors have played fundamental roles in the development of a waste management system and indicates conclusions of interest to managers throughout the world who must deal with WEEE.
Article
The characteristics of engineering plastics used in the preparation of electrical and electronic equipment were studied. More specifically, their thermal response was recorded by DSC experiments, the rheological properties were investigated via MFI tests and the mechanical properties were evaluated with tensile tests. The aim was to establish a procedure for recycling the same engineering plastics deriving from waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), which offers the additional advantage of using the as-received waste stream as a recyclable mixture, i.e. without sorting and classification of its components.The experimental results showed that blends of PC with ABS or ABS/HIPS can be prepared by direct mixing and this, would allow easy handling of the engineering plastics coming from WEEE, i.e. blending without the need of sorting. These mixtures can be easily processed and display acceptable mechanical properties with reasonable cost. Therefore, the processing characteristics and properties of the systems studied in this work could be the key for the design of an interesting approach for handling solid plastic waste from electrical and electronic devices.
Article
The decreasing costs and increasing availability of electronic products of all kinds, including mobile phones, audio and video equipment, and personal computers and their accessories, coupled with advances in technology that rapidly make these products obsolete, foretell a growing disposal problem.The materials employed in the present work were a mobile phone (printed circuit board+casing) and printed circuit boards alone. Pyrolysis and combustion runs at 500°C in a horizontal laboratory furnace were performed, and the analyses of the gas and semivolatile fractions (including dioxins and furans and “dioxin-like” PCBs) are shown. The mobile phone and printed circuit boards were analysed for PCDD/F and “dioxin-like” PCB content in order to establish the level of pollutant in the samples themselves.Some TG–MS experiments were carried out in order to better know the thermal decomposition of electronic wastes and identify some compounds emitted during the controlled heating of these materials. Furthermore, a kinetic study of the thermal decomposition of the electronic circuit (EC) both in nitrogen and nitrogen:oxygen atmospheres using different heating rates is presented.
Article
A growing number of regulatory interventions such as the European Union’s Extended Polluter Responsibility Policy hold manufacturers accountable for the damage inflicted to the natural environment by their products. However, not all components of an industrial product have an equitable role regarding their overall burden to the environment. In this context, it is of great interest to manufacturers to identify and rank those components with the highest potential value at the end of their useful life, employing an array of economical and environmental criteria. In order to assist manufacturers on their decision-making for the optimal end-of-life alternatives for their products, the “Multicriteria Matrix” methodology has been developed. The methodology relies on multicriteria analysis and takes into consideration the residual value, environmental burden, weight, quantity and ease of disassembly of each component. With the developed methodology only those components that do not have any residual value end up in landfills, while the majority of the components are either reused or recycled. The application of the developed methodology is demonstrated employing a real-world case study; that of an ISDN network terminal. Finally, the paper is concluded by presenting interesting managerial insights that were obtained
Article
a b s t r a c t Waste of electric–electronic equipment (WEEE) with an annual growth rate of about 3–5% is the fastest growing waste stream in municipal wastes. Notwithstanding their environmental pollution potential, waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) with their high content of base and precious metals, in particular, are regarded as a potential secondary resource when compared with ores. For the recovery of metals from WEEE, various treatment options based on conventional physical, hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes are available. These process options with particular reference to hydromet-allurgical processes were reviewed in this study. With their relatively low capital cost, reduced environ-mental impact (e.g. no hazardous gases/dusts), potential for high metal recoveries and suitability for small scale applications, hydrometallurgical processes are promising options for the treatment of WEEE. Since the metals are present in native form and/or as alloys, an oxidative leaching process is required for the effective extraction of base and precious metals of interest. A two-stage process based on oxidative acid leaching of base metals (Cu in particular) followed by leaching of precious metals using cyanide, thiosulfate, thiourea or halide as lixiviant(s) can be suitably developed for the hydrometallurgical treat-ment of WEEE. However, further research is required to develop new, cost effective and environmentally friendly processes and/or refine existing ones for leaching and, in particular, downstream processes.
Article
Polymeric waste materials should be considered resources for the manufacture of new products through recycling processes, with a similar status to virgin fossil-based plastics and biopolymers from renewable resources. Several efforts can be made to achieve this qualitative quantum leap in plastics recycling, and consequently introduce recycled products, with competitive performance, to the market. Scientific knowledge about the degradation processes during the life cycle and the development of fast and reliable analytical methods for the quality assessment of reccycled plastics are fundamental to guarantee their performance in new applications. Different strategies -restabilisation, rebuilding, compatibilisation, and addition of elastomers and fillers -can be used to upgrade the structure and properties of polymeric waste streams. This review discusses recent developments in the mechanical recycling of plastics, focusing on how to produce quality materials from waste streams and, thus, contribute to a sustainable management of resources and energy.
Article
This work presents a new methodology for the selection and design of operations of a recycling system for electronic appliances, mainly television sets and monitors. The European Directive for “Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment” (WEEE) tries to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills which is one of the aims of the proposed system. In addition, a better use of the obtained materials is expected, making the process more profitable for small or medium enterprises. An example of its applicability, focused on the separation of the different materials of TV and monitors, is proposed. A specific treatment for different types of glass of cathode ray tubes is envisaged, due to its difficult reuse. Technical issues concerning the degree of the automation which could be applied to a recycling cell is studied, from the theoretical full automation of all the disassembling tasks, to a manual dismantling of components. This knowledge is used by the proposed methodology, which makes use of a decision support system for optimization purposes. Inputs for this system are the previous expertise of recycling companies, applicable regulations concerning WEEE, economic aspects like materials pricing, treatments costs, etc. A simulation software has been used to analyze the virtual prototype of the proposed solution. Finally, an economical assessment of the recycling process shows the feasibility of the methodology, which is complemented with a potential use of the obtained glass in a secondary market related to the construction sector. KeywordsSimulation–Automation–Optimization–Recovery–Recycling
Article
The volume of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been rapidly growing in recent years. In the European Union (EU), legislation promoting the collection and recycling of WEEE has been in force since the year 2003. Yet, both current and recently suggested collection targets for WEEE are completely ineffective when it comes to collection and recycling of small WEEE (s-WEEE), with mobile phones as a typical example. Mobile phones are the most sold EEE and at the same time one of appliances with the lowest collection rate. To improve this situation, it is necessary to assess the amount of generated end of life (EoL) mobile phones as precisely as possible. This paper presents a method of assessment of EoL mobile phones generation based on delay model. Within the scope of this paper, the method has been applied on the Czech Republic data. However, this method can be applied also to other EoL appliances in or outside the Czech Republic.
Article
The developing countries are facing huge challenges in the management of electronic waste (e-waste) which are either internally generated or imported illegally as ‘used’ goods in an attempt to bridge the so-called ‘digital divide’. E-waste contains hazardous constituents that may negatively impact the environment and affect human health if not properly managed. In these countries, because of lack of adequate infrastructure to manage wastes safely, these wastes are buried, burnt in the open air or dumped into surface water bodies. Crude ‘backyard’ recycling practices, which are not efficient and are highly polluting are also used in material recovery activities. Most developed countries have in place legislation mandating electronic manufacturers and importers to take-back used electronic products at their end-of-life (EoL) based on the principle of extended producer responsibility (EPR). In this paper, we review the concept of EPR, and discuss selected frameworks. The aim has been to find a mid point for the implementation of even an ‘abridged’ form of EPR in the developing countries. Implementation of EPR in the developing countries has become necessary in the light of the present high level of trans-boundary movement of e-waste into the developing countries and the lack of basic or state-of-the-art recycling and waste disposal facilities. Change in attitude by governments, appropriate legislation dealing specifically with e-waste, control of electronic waste dumping, implementation of EPR and transfer of technology on sound recycling of e-waste are the key issues in effective management of e-waste in developing countries.
Article
Electronic waste, or e-waste, is an emerging problem as well as a business opportunity of increasing significance, given the volumes of e-waste being generated and the content of both toxic and valuable materials in them. The fraction including iron, copper, aluminium, gold and other metals in e-waste is over 60%, while pollutants comprise 2.70%. Given the high toxicity of these pollutants especially when burned or recycled in uncontrolled environments, the Basel Convention has identified e-waste as hazardous, and developed a framework for controls on transboundary movement of such waste. The Basel Ban, an amendment to the Basel Convention that has not yet come into force, would go one step further by prohibiting the export of e-waste from developed to industrializing countries.
Article
The ever-increasing amount of electronic scrap and the steadily-decreasing contents of the precious metals used in electronics, as well as the ever-growing environmental awareness, challenges such conventional precious-metal-oriented recycling techniques as pyrometallurgy. Separation and beneficiation of various materials encountered in electronic scrap might provide a correct solution ahead. In this context, mechanical separation-oriented characterization of electronic scrap was conducted in an attempt to evaluate the amenability of mechanical separation processes. Liberation degrees of various metals from the non-metals, which are crucial for mechanical separation, were analyzed by means of a grain counting approach. It is found that the metallic particles below 2 mm achieve almost complete liberation. Particle shapes were also quantified through an image processing system. The results obtained show that the shapes of the particles, as a result of shredding, turn out to be heterogeneous, thereby complicating mechanical separation processes. In addition, separability of various materials was ascertained by a sink–float analysis. It has been shown that density-based separation techniques shall be viable in separating metals from plastics, light plastics (ABS, PS and PVC, etc.) from glass fiber reinforced resins and aluminum from heavy metals. Specifically, a high quality copper concentrate can be expected by density-based separation techniques. Moreover, FT-IR spectra of plastics pieces from the light fractions after the sink–float testing show that PC scrap primarily contains ABS, PS and PVC plastics with the density range of +1.0–1.5 g/cm3, whereas PCB scrap mainly contains glass fiber reinforced epoxy resins plastics with the density range of +1.5–2.0 g/cm3.
Article
In recent years, new European Directives have been issued to ensure that Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is treated in as environmentally friendly a way as possible. These new European laws call for the creation of new logistics networks to collect all such waste. The purpose of this paper is to show that, under certain circumstances, the environmental impact of these networks could be even higher than the impact of non-collection. Different appliances were analysed (washing machines, refrigerators, TV sets and personal computers) in order to test this hypothesis. The methodology of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was applied, highlighting especially the final phase of product life and calculating the threshold beyond which collection is harmful for each type of equipment. The results demonstrate that, depending on the distance travelled to pick up the domestic appliances, recycling is not as environmental friendly as expected, especially when it comes to the impact of fossil fuels or respiratory inorganics (winter smog). This work can be a useful tool for manufacturers (now forced to take back all the equipment after use for subsequent treatment) when designing their new recycling networks from an environmental perspective.
Article
Environmentally sound management of end-of-life mobile phones is an issue of growing concern in Korea and around the world. This paper discusses the generation rate, collection systems, and recycling processes of used & end-of-life mobile phones in Korea. The results were based on review of the existing literature, a survey of 1090 consumers, site visits to electronic waste recycling facilities, and interviews with mobile telecommunication companies and environmental regulatory authorities. The results show that on average 14.5 million mobile phones have been retired annually in Korea over the period of analysis (2000–2007). A large fraction of used & end-of-life mobile phones has been stored at home waiting for disposal. Approximately five million used & end-of-life mobile phones have been collected by mobile telecommunication companies and producers annually between 2004 and 2007. The results of the consumer survey showed that the average Korean consumer typically replaces his/her mobile phone every 28.8 months. Since collection and recycling of mobile phones has only recently started, the methods and infrastructure for collection and recycling process for used & end-of-life mobile phones have not yet been well-established. More active collection activities and systems for used & end-of-life mobile phone are still needed, adding more collection points where consumers can drop off their used mobile phones. Producers, consumers, mobile telecommunication companies, and local governments should consider more collective actions that can be taken to promote successful collection and recycling schemes.
Article
Recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is a very important subject not only from the viewpoint of waste treatment but also from the viewpoint of recovery of valuable materials. In the past, some obstacles make recycling challenging for today's manufactured products. First, it is difficult to gain all the information necessary to plan for the recycling evaluation, as most design information is owned and kept by suppliers. Another problem in recycling end-of-life (EOL) products is a lack of technologies to handle the very complex products that are being discarded today, because the knowledge of how to do so is owned by the recycler.This research demonstrates how to support WEEE recycling analysis by environmental information with the part of bill of material. A collaborative-design platform is further constructed and collected all the needed information using computer-aided design (CAD), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and product life-cycle management (PLM) systems. Through this platform, suppliers are required to provide component information to enable the manufacturer's design for disassembly and recycling analysis. The results demonstrate that designers can obtain disassembly and recycling information through the model, so that desirable changes can be made in the early stages of a design. An industrial case study from Taiwan is also provided to demonstrate the use of this model.
Article
There must be a change in attitude towards end-of-life products. The view that these products pose a liability must be changed. Secondary material is valuable as raw material. Thus, activities encouraging changes in opinion are important.Two major EU directives guide the recycling process; the Directive of End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) and the Directive of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Both focus on the input of the recycling system, not on what is coming out of the system.The WEEE Directive is the legislation on the European level that governs the handling and processing of these types of products. The WEEE Directive is not only aimed at stricter handling and reduction of hazardous materials but also encourages EU member states to support technical development in order to facilitate increased recycling.In order to properly address these issues a mind-set, material hygiene, has been introduced. The basic idea is to act, in every life cycle phase of the product, towards highest possible efficiency in recycling. The outcome of useful material is in focus.A study on dishwashers is made with copper outcome as target. The results are based on Swedish conditions but general conclusions can be made. Limited design efforts can raise the outcome of valuable materials, if the recycling process is organized in an optimal manner.A theoretical concept of disassembly structures is used to draw general conclusions on the case study.Increasing product recycling suitability is one side of the problem; another is increasing effectiveness of handling and processing of end-of-life products.The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of “material hygiene” and based on that demonstrate a method for grading structural properties in a recycling perspective. The findings presented in this paper are based on a field study in which a number of dishwashers were disassembled and analyzed.
Article
The production of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. At the same time this also means that the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) will continue to increase in the coming decades. As it is crucial to obtain more knowledge about the environmental consequences of the different WEEE treatment options, a study examining the two Swiss take-back and recycling systems of SWICO (for computers, consumer electronics and telecommunication equipment) and S.EN.S (household appliances) has been conducted. The two systems, which are based on an advanced recycling fee, are well established within Switzerland. With a combined approach of material flow analysis (MFA) and life cycle assessment (LCA), the environmental impacts of these two systems have been estimated, including all further treatment steps, which transform the fractions either into secondary materials or into waste for final disposal. As a baseline, we have used a scenario assuming that no WEEE is recycled and hence only primary production for the similar amount of raw materials. The impact assessment is based on characterization factors according to the Dutch CML methodology.The results show that throughout the complete recycling chain the sorting and dismantling activities of companies are of minor interest; instead the main impact occurs during the treatment applied further downstream to turn the waste into secondary raw materials. Within the two systems in Switzerland, the collection of WEEE seems much more relevant than the sorting and dismantling activities. When comparing the environmental impact of WEEE recycling with that derived from the baseline scenario (incineration of all WEEE and primary production of the raw materials), WEEE recycling proves to be clearly advantageous from an environmental perspective.
Article
The useful life of consumer electronic devices is relatively short, and decreasing as a result of rapid changes in equipment features and capabilities. This creates a large waste stream of obsolete electronic equipment, electronic waste (e-waste).Even though there are conventional disposal methods for e-waste, these methods have disadvantages from both the economic and environmental viewpoints. As a result, new e-waste management options need to be considered, for example, recycling. But electronic recycling has a short history, so there is not yet a solid infrastructure in place.In this paper, the first half describes trends in the amount of e-waste, existing recycling programs, and collection methods. The second half describes various methods available to recover materials from e-waste. In particular, various recycling technologies for the glass, plastics, and metals found in e-waste are discussed. For glass, glass-to-glass recycling and glass-to-lead recycling technologies are presented. For plastics, chemical (feedstock) recycling, mechanical recycling, and thermal recycling methods are analyzed. Recovery processes for copper, lead, and precious metals such as silver, gold, platinum, and palladium are reviewed. These processes are described and compared on the basis of available technologies, resources, and material input–output systems.
Article
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is recognised as the fastest growing waste stream in the European Union (EU), with estimates of up to 20 kg per person per annum. A wide variety of WEEE is discarded by consumers, often in different ways depending on size with small items (e.g. toasters) being easier to dispose of than larger ones (e.g. washing machines). Currently, small WEEE is not treated as a priority waste stream in the UK as in order to meet targets under the WEEE Directive2 (CEC, 2003c) it makes more sense to focus on larger items for which collection, reuse and recycling systems already exist, but small items need to be tackled for a number of reasons, including the long term strategic development of infrastructure. In light of this, the paper will assess consumer attitudes towards the disposal of small WEEE, and identify key problems raised by the implementation of the WEEE Directive in relation to these small product groups. The findings from a large scale postal questionnaire, and semi-structured interviews conducted in Cardiff, Wales will be used, and key literature and research carried out to date on the disposal of WEEE, and household attitudes to waste and recycling will be assessed. It will also look at how the implementation of the WEEE Directive ‘fits in’ with the current transition in the UK towards more sustainable waste management practices at the household level, and then explore the most effective ways of engaging householders in the recycling of small WEEE. Key recommendations will then be outlined concerning the future strategic development and practical implementation of the WEEE Directive in relation to consumer involvement and small product types.
Article
In this article, the vertical vibration technique is described as it is used to separate a mixture of plastic and bronze in water. When a mixture of two equally sized granular materials is vertically vibrated, they often separate into two distinct layers. Plastic and bronze were used to mimic the situation of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) materials. At low frequency, a bronze rich layer is formed on top of a plastic layer, while at higher frequency the bronze remained sandwiched between two layers of plastic. A similar result was obtained when equivalent size shredded WEEE materials were vibrated. These results were compared with those in the plastic–bronze mixture. The WEEE mixture separates into a copper rich layer on top. The observations and possible mechanisms of this separation are discussed.
Article
E-waste comprises discarded electronic appliances, of which computers and mobile telephones are disproportionately abundant because of their short lifespan. The current global production of E-waste is estimated to be 20–25 million tonnes per year, with most E-waste being produced in Europe, the United States and Australasia. China, Eastern Europe and Latin America will become major E-waste producers in the next ten years. Miniaturisation and the development of more efficient cloud computing networks, where computing services are delivered over the internet from remote locations, may offset the increase in E-waste production from global economic growth and the development of pervasive new technologies. E-waste contains valuable metals (Cu, platinum group) as well as potential environmental contaminants, especially Pb, Sb, Hg, Cd, Ni, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Burning E-waste may generate dioxins, furans, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAHs), and hydrogen chloride. The chemical composition of E-waste changes with the development of new technologies and pressure from environmental organisations on electronics companies to find alternatives to environmentally damaging materials. Most E-waste is disposed in landfills. Effective reprocessing technology, which recovers the valuable materials with minimal environmental impact, is expensive. Consequently, although illegal under the Basel Convention, rich countries export an unknown quantity of E-waste to poor countries, where recycling techniques include burning and dissolution in strong acids with few measures to protect human health and the environment. Such reprocessing initially results in extreme localised contamination followed by migration of the contaminants into receiving waters and food chains. E-waste workers suffer negative health effects through skin contact and inhalation, while the wider community are exposed to the contaminants through smoke, dust, drinking water and food. There is evidence that E-waste associated contaminants may be present in some agricultural or manufactured products for export.
Article
In Korea due to rapid economical growth followed by urbanisation, breakage of large traditional families into small nuclear families, continuous changes in equipment features and capabilities causes tremendous increase in sale of new electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and decrease in sale of used EEE. Subsequently, the ever-increasing quantity of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has become a serious social problem and threat to the environment. Therefore, the gradual increase in the generation of WEEE intensifies the interest for recycling to conserve the resources and protect the environment. In view of the above, a review has been made related to the present status of the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment in Korea. This paper describes the present status of generation and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment, namely TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, personal computers and mobile phones in Korea. The commercial processes and the status of developing new technologies for the recycling of metallic values from waste printed circuit boards (PCBs) is also described briefly. Since 1998, three recycling centers are in full operation to recycle WEEE such as refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners, having the total capacity of 880,000 units/year. All waste TVs are recently recycled on commission basis by several private recycling plants. The recycling of waste personal computers and mobile phones is insignificant in comparison with the amount of estimated obsolete those. Korea has adopted and enforced the extended producer responsibility (EPR) system. Korea is making consistent efforts to improve the recycling rate to the standards indicated in the EU directives for WEEE. Especially environmentally friendly and energy-saving technologies are being developed to recycle metal values from PCBs of WEEE.
Article
Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing and Product Recovery (ECMPRO) has become an obligation to the environment and to the society itself, enforced primarily by governmental regulations and customer perspective on environmental issues. This is mainly driven by the escalating deterioration of the environment, e.g. diminishing raw material resources, overflowing waste sites and increasing levels of pollution. ECMPRO involves integrating environmental thinking into new product development including design, material selection, manufacturing processes and delivery of the product to the consumers, plus the end-of-life management of the product after its useful life. ECMPRO related issues have found a large following in industry and academia who aim to find solutions to the problems that arise in this newly emerged research area. Problems are widespread including the ones related to life cycle of products, disassembly, material recovery, remanufacturing and pollution prevention. In this paper, we present the development of research in ECMPRO and provide a state-of-the-art survey of published work.
Article
With the increasing global legal and illegal trade of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) comes an equally increasing concern that poor WEEE recycling techniques, particularly in developing countries, are generating more and more environmental pollution that affects both ecosystems and the people living within or near the main recycling areas. This review presents data found in the scientific and grey literature about concentrations of lead (Pb), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated dioxins and furans as well as polybrominated dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs and PBDD/Fs) monitored in various environmental compartments in China and India, two countries where informal WEEE recycling plays an important economic role. The data are compared with known concentration thresholds and other pollution level standards to provide an indication of the seriousness of the pollution levels in the study sites selected and further to indicate the potential negative impact of these pollutants on the ecosystems and humans affected. The review highlights very high levels of Pb, PBDEs, PCDD/Fs and PBDD/Fs in air, bottom ash, dust, soil, water and sediments in WEEE recycling areas of the two countries. The concentration levels found sometimes exceed the reference values for the sites under investigation and pollution observed in other industrial or urban areas by several orders of magnitude. These observations suggest a serious environmental and human health threat, which is backed up by other studies that have examined the impact of concentrations of these compounds in humans and other organisms. The risk to the population treating WEEE and to the surrounding environment increases with the lack of health and safety guidelines and improper recycling techniques such as dumping, dismantling, inappropriate shredding, burning and acid leaching. At a regional scale, the influence of pollutants generated by WEEE recycling sites is important due to the long-distance transport potential of some chemicals. Although the data presented are alarming, the situation could be improved relatively rapidly by the implementation of more benign recycling techniques and the development and enforcement of WEEE-related legislation at the national level, including prevention of unregulated WEEE exports from industrialised countries.
Article
A new collection model was designed and tested in Catalonia (Spain) to foster the separate collection and recycling of electrical and electronic toys, with the participation of selected primary and secondary schools, as well as waste collection points and municipalities. This project approach is very original and important because small household WEEE has low rates of collection (16-21% WEEE within the EU or 5-7% WEEE in Spain) and no research on new approaches to enhance the collection of small WEEE is found in the literature. The project was successful in achieving enhanced toys collection and recycling rates, which went up from the national Spanish average of 0.5% toys before the project to 1.9 and 6% toys during the two project years, respectively. The environmental benefits of the campaign were calculated through a life-cycle approach, accounting for the avoided impact afforded by the reuse of the toys and the recycling of the valuable materials contained therein (such as metals, batteries and circuit boards) and subtracting the additional environmental burdens associated with the establishment of the collection campaign.
Article
This paper describes a direct analysis study carried out in a recycling unit for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in Portugal to characterize the plastic constituents of WEEE. Approximately 3400 items, including cooling appliances, small WEEE, printers, copying equipment, central processing units, cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors and CRT televisions were characterized, with the analysis finding around 6000 kg of plastics with several polymer types. The most common polymers are polystyrene, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, polycarbonate blends, high-impact polystyrene and polypropylene. Additives to darken color are common contaminants in these plastics when used in CRT televisions and small WEEE. These additives can make plastic identification difficult, along with missing polymer identification and flame retardant identification marks. These drawbacks contribute to the inefficiency of manual dismantling of WEEE, which is the typical recycling process in Portugal. The information found here can be used to set a baseline for the plastics recycling industry and provide information for ecodesign in electrical and electronic equipment production.
Article
The determination of sample size is a common task for many organizational researchers. Inappropriate, inadequate, or excessive sample sizes continue to influence the quality and accuracy of research. The procedures for determining sample size for continuous and categorical variables using Cochran's (1977) formulas are described. A discussion and illustration of sample size formulas, including the formula for adjusting the sample size for smaller populations, is included
Article
Based on available data in the literature the recovery of aluminium, copper, gold, iron, nickel, palladium and silver from high-grade WEEE was modeled by LCA. The pre-treatment of WEEE included manual sorting, shredding, magnetic sorting, Eddy-current sorting, air classification and optical sorting. The modeled metallurgical treatment facility included a Kaldo plant, a converter aisle, an anode refinery and a precious metal refinery. The metallurgic treatment showed significant environmental savings when credited the environmental load from avoided production of the same amount of metals by mining and refining of ore. The resource recovery per tonne of high-grade WEEE ranged from 2g of palladium to 386kg of iron. Quantified in terms of person-equivalents the recovery of palladium, gold, silver, nickel and copper constituted the major environmental benefit of the recovery of metals from WEEE. These benefits are most likely underestimated in the model, since we did not find adequate data to include all the burdens from mining and refining of ore; burdens that are avoided when metals are recovered from WEEE. The processes connected to the pre-treatment of WEEE were found to have little environmental effect compared to the metallurgical treatment. However only 12-26% of silver, gold and palladium are recovered during pre-treatment, which suggest that the reduction of the apparent losses of precious metals as palladium, gold and silver during pre-treatment of WEEE is of environmental importance. Our results support in a quantitative manner that metal recovery from WEEE should be quantified with respect to the individual metals recovered and not as a bulk metal recovery rate.
Article
Sales of electrical and electronic equipment are increasing dramatically in developing countries. Usually, there are no reliable data about quantities of the waste generated. A new law for solid waste management was enacted in Brazil in 2010, and the infrastructure to treat this waste must be planned, considering the volumes of the different types of electrical and electronic equipment generated. This paper reviews the literature regarding estimation of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), focusing on developing countries, particularly in Latin America. It briefly describes the current WEEE system in Brazil and presents an updated estimate of generation of WEEE. Considering the limited available data in Brazil, a model for WEEE generation estimation is proposed in which different methods are used for mature and non-mature market products. The results showed that the most important variable is the equipment lifetime, which requires a thorough understanding of consumer behavior to estimate. Since Brazil is a rapidly expanding market, the "boom" in waste generation is still to come. In the near future, better data will provide more reliable estimation of waste generation and a clearer interpretation of the lifetime variable throughout the years.
Article
In Japan, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) that is not covered by the recycling laws are treated as municipal solid waste. A part of common metals are recovered during the treatment; however, other metals are rarely recovered and their destinations are not clear. This study investigated the distribution ratios and substance flows of 55 metals contained in WEEE during municipal waste treatment using shredding and separation techniques at a Japanese municipal waste treatment plant. The results revealed that more than half of Cu and most of Al contained in WEEE end up in landfills or dissipate under the current municipal waste treatment system. Among the other metals contained in WEEE, at least 70% of the mass was distributed to the small-grain fraction through the shredding and separation and is to be landfilled. Most kinds of metals were concentrated several fold in the small-grain fraction through the process and therefore the small-grain fraction may be a next target for recovery of metals in terms of both metal content and amount. Separate collection and pre-sorting of small digital products can work as effective way for reducing precious metals and less common metals to be landfilled to some extent; however, much of the total masses of those metals would still end up in landfills and it is also important to consider how to recover and utilize metals contained in other WEEE such as audio/video equipment.
Article
Pyrolysis and combustion runs at 850°C in a horizontal laboratory furnace were carried out on different parts of a mobile phone (printed circuit board, mobile case and a mixture of both materials). The analyses of the carbon oxides, light hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, polychlorodibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), and dioxin-like PCBs are shown. Regarding semivolatile compounds, phenol, styrene, and its derivatives had the highest yields. In nearly all the runs the same PAHs were identified, naphthalene being the most common component obtained. Combustion of the printed circuit board produced the highest emission factor of PCDD/Fs, possibly due to the high copper content.
Article
End-of-life electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) has recently received attention as a secondary source of metals. This study examined characteristics of end-of-life EEE as secondary metal resources to consider efficient collection and metal recovery systems according to the specific metals and types of EEE. We constructed an analogy between natural resource development and metal recovery from end-of-life EEE and found that metal content and total annual amount of metal contained in each type of end-of-life EEE should be considered in secondary resource development, as well as the collectability of the end-of-life products. We then categorized 21 EEE types into five groups and discussed their potential as secondary metal resources. Refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, and CRT TVs were evaluated as the most important sources of common metals, and personal computers, mobile phones, and video games were evaluated as the most important sources of precious metals. Several types of small digital equipment were also identified as important sources of precious metals; however, mid-size information and communication technology (ICT) equipment (e.g., printers and fax machines) and audio/video equipment were shown to be more important as a source of a variety of less common metals. The physical collectability of each type of EEE was roughly characterized by unit size and number of end-of-life products generated annually. Current collection systems in Japan were examined and potentially appropriate collection methods were suggested for equipment types that currently have no specific collection systems in Japan, particularly for video games, notebook computers, and mid-size ICT and audio/video equipment.
Article
Minimum treatment requirements for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) established by Directive 2002/96/EC provide for the removal of specific components containing hazardous substances. To date, no comparative analysis of removal rates has been undertaken. The present paper examines the state of de-pollution of sWEEE in Austrian treatment plants. The mass of selected components removed and the corresponding mass of hazardous substances is compared to estimated values for sWEEE input material. The results obtained reveal that components are only partly removed, featuring a high variation between components and plants assessed. The overall rate of removal ranged from 72% of the estimated value for batteries to 21% of the estimated value for liquid crystal panels. This implies the forwarding of substantial quantities of hazardous substances to mechanical treatment processes, particularly relevant in terms of dispersion of pollutants. Furthermore, easily releasable pollutants, such as Hg from LCD-backlights, Cd from batteries or highly contaminated dust in general, pose substantial health risks for plant workers. Low removal rates of printed circuit boards, batteries and toner cartridges also lead to a reduction in quantities of valuable recyclable materials (precious metals, plastics).
Article
This paper presents and critically analyses the current waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) management practices in various countries and regions. Global trends in (i) the quantities and composition of WEEE; and (ii) the various strategies and practices adopted by selected countries to handle, regulate and prevent WEEE are comprehensively examined. The findings indicate that for (i), the quantities of WEEE generated are high and/or on the increase. IT and telecommunications equipment seem to be the dominant WEEE being generated, at least in terms of numbers, in Africa, in the poorer regions of Asia and in Latin/South America. However, the paper contends that the reported figures on quantities of WEEE generated may be grossly underestimated. For (ii), with the notable exception of Europe, many countries seem to be lacking or are slow in initiating, drafting and adopting WEEE regulations. Handling of WEEE in developing countries is typified by high rate of repair and reuse within a largely informal recycling sector. In both developed and developing nations, the landfilling of WEEE is still a concern. It has been established that stockpiling of unwanted electrical and electronic products is common in both the USA and less developed economies. The paper also identifies and discusses four common priority areas for WEEE across the globe, namely: (i) resource depletion; (ii) ethical concerns; (iii) health and environmental issues; and (iv) WEEE takeback strategies. Further, the paper discusses the future perspectives on WEEE generation, treatment, prevention and regulation. Four key conclusions are drawn from this review: global amounts of WEEE will continue unabated for some time due to emergence of new technologies and affordable electronics; informal recycling in developing nations has the potential of making a valuable contribution if their operations can be changed with strict safety standards as a priority; the pace of initiating and enacting WEEE specific legislation is very slow across the globe and in some cases non-existent; and globally, there is need for more accurate and current data on amounts and types of WEEE generated.
Article
This review paper summarizes the existing knowledge on the chemical hazards associated with recycling and other end-of-life treatment options of waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste). The hazards arise from the presence of heavy metals (e.g., mercury, cadmium, lead, etc.), flame retardants (e.g., pentabromophenol, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA), etc.) and other potentially harmful substances in e-waste. If improperly managed, the substances may pose significant human and environmental health risks. The review describes the potentially hazardous content of e-waste, examines the existing e-waste management practices and presents scientific data on human exposure to chemicals, workplace and environmental pollution associated with the three major e-waste management options, i.e., recycling, incineration and landfilling. The existing e-waste management practices and associated hazards are reviewed separately for developed and developing countries. Finally, based on this review, the paper identifies gaps in the existing knowledge and makes some recommendations for future research.
Article
In view of the environmental problem involved in the management of WEEE, and then in the recycling of post-consumer plastic of WEEE there is a pressing need for rapid measurement technologies for simple identification of the various commercial plastic materials and of the several contaminants, to improve the recycling of such wastes. This research is focused on the characterization and recycling of two types of plastics, namely plastic from personal computer (grey plastic) and plastic from television (black plastic). Various analytical techniques were used to monitor the compositions of WEEE. Initially, the chemical structure of each plastic material was identified by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Polymeric contaminants of these plastics, in particular brominated flame retardants (BFRs) were detected in grey plastics only using different techniques. These techniques are useful for a rapid, correct and economics identification of a large volumes of WEEE plastics.
Article
The presence of hazardous substances and preparations in small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE) found in the residual household waste stream of the city of Dresden, Germany has been investigated. The content of sWEEE plastics in heavy metals and halogens is determined using handheld X-ray fluorescence analysis (HXRF), elemental analysis by means of atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) and ion exchange chromatography (IEC). Mean value of results for heavy metals in samples (n=51) by AAS are 17.4 mg/kg for Pb, 5.7 mg/kg for Cd, 8.4 mg/kg for Cr. The mass fraction of an additive as shown by HXRF (n=161) can vary over a wide range. Precise deductions as regards sWEEE plastics content in hazardous substances and preparations cannot be made. Additional research would be expedient regarding the influence of hazardous substances to recycling processes, in particular regarding the contamination of clean fractions in the exit streams of a WEEE treatment plant. Suitable standards for calibrating HXRF for use on EEE plastics or complex electr(on)ic components do not exist and should be developed.
Article
As a result of the continuous change in the design and function of consumer electrical and electronic products, the mechanical and material properties of the obsolete products, called waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE), are highly variable. The variability within WEEE is explained by the number of different appliances, and the heterogeneity in composition of any given appliance. This paper reports on an extended investigation of the properties of WEEE, in particular small appliances. The investigation focuses on the analysis of the composition of about 700 single appliances. Firstly, analytical methods to characterize the waste equipment are described. The results of the experimental analyses show that the mechanical properties, the material composition, the polymer composition and the chemical composition of WEEE vary not only between equipment types with different functions, but also between single appliances within one equipment type. Data on hazardous and valuable substances in selected equipment types are presented. Using detailed data on the composition of individual appliances to calculate rates of recovery for assumed recycling processes demonstrates that the performance of recycling processes depends strongly on the composition of WEEE. Recycling-oriented characterization is, therefore, a systematic approach to support the design and the operation of recycling processes.
Article
A new method for analysis of metal additives in recycled thermoplasts from electronic waste was developed, based on dissolving the samples in an organic solvent and subsequent analysis of the corresponding solutions or suspensions by total-reflection X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (TXRF). The procedure proved to be considerably less time consuming than the conventional digestion of the polymer matrix. Additives containing Ti, Zn, Br, Cd, Sn, Sb, and Pb were analyzed in a hundred randomly selected samples from recycling, which provided an overview of the range of elemental concentrations in thermoplasts utilized for consumer electronics. The results were validated independently by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), subsequent regression analysis confirmed the trueness of the chosen approach.