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Insights from a decade of development cooperation in e-waste management

TitleInsights from a decade of development cooperation in e-waste management
Publication TypeProceedings Article
Year of Conference2003
AuthorsSchluep M, Müller E, Hilty LM, Ott D, Widmer R, Böni H
Series EditorHilty LM, Aebischer B, Andersson G, Lohmann W
Conference NameFirst International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Sustainability
PublisherE-Collection ETH Institutional Repository
Conference LocationZurich, Switzerland
AbstractThis paper presents insights from a decade of development cooperation projects in electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) management and associated research activities, conducted by Empa’s Technology and Society Lab together with a number of international partners. The quantification of e-waste volumes is a prerequisite for the development of sustainable solutions in developing countries. Challenges include getting an understanding of the accuracy of data and the dynamic behavior of e-waste flows and their constituents. In addition, the thermodynamic and physical properties of the material mix found in e-waste needs to be understood in order to achieve efficient recovery of the material resources. The past and still on-going application of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment will remain a dominant issue in sustainable e-waste management systems in the future, if environmental, health and safety hazards, as well as cross-contamination into recovered secondary resources, are to be avoided. Furthermore, tailored solutions will have to take into account the informal nature of e-waste recycling in developing countries. Although continuing miniaturization of electronic devices can be observed, overall volumes and mass flows are expected to increase steadily in the future, as appliances are getting cheaper and hence more accessible, especially in the non-saturated markets of developing countries.
Schluep_2013_ICT4S.pdf612.49 KB
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