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A production-theory-based framework for analysing recycling systems in the e-waste sector

TitleA production-theory-based framework for analysing recycling systems in the e-waste sector
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsSchmidt M
Journal TitleEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Volume25
Pages505-524
KeywordsE-waste management, LCA, Material flow management, Material flow nets, MFA, Production theory
AbstractModern approaches in the production theory of business and management economics propose thatobjects (e.g. materials) be divided into good, bad or neutral. In transformation processes such as occurin production or recycling this makes it possible to distinguish stringently between the economicrevenue of a process and the economic and ecological expenditures for it. This approach can betransferred to entire systems of processes in order to determine the system revenue and the systemexpenditure. Material flow nets or graphs are used for this purpose. In complex material flow systems itbecomes possible to calculate not only the costs, but also the direct and indirect environmental impactsof an individual process or a system revenue (for example a product or the elimination of waste)consistently. The approach permits a stringent analysis as well as different analysis perspectives of amaterial flow system. It is particularly suitable for closed-loop economic systems in which materialbackflows occur.With the aid of an example developed jointly with Hewlett Packard Europe, the paperoutlines how this approach can be employed in the field of e-waste management.
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