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Economic conditions for developing large scale WEEE recycling infrastructure based on manual dismantling in China - The learning experience from the setup of a pilot plant

TitleEconomic conditions for developing large scale WEEE recycling infrastructure based on manual dismantling in China - The learning experience from the setup of a pilot plant
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsWang F
UniversityUniversiteit Leiden / Delft University of Technology
CityLeiden / Delft
Thesis TypeMaster Thesis
AbstractThe Best of 2 Worlds project is a research initiative to develop a large scale recycling facility for WEEE in China based on the conception of the project, which proposes utilizing manual dismantling as the pre-treatment process to separate fractions until the optimal level is reached and apply best available technology to treat the critical fractions afterward. The objective of this thesis is to analyze the economic conditions for the development of large scale recycling facility in China, through the observation of the existent recyclers and the learning experience of setting up a pilot workshop for the stimulation and testing of the blue print to the Bo2W project. Through the examination of the status quo for the existent e-waste recyclers in China, the opportunity and the weakness for developing the e-waste dismantling facility is summarized. After setting up a pilot plant in Taizhou for trial, a group of waste equipments are dismantled for testing. An economic model based on the assembly tree and the Process-based Cost Model is developed to seek the optimal dismantling level and analyze the overall performance of the pilot plant, and corresponding recommendation is put forward according to the analysis result. General observation from the existing e-waste recyclers is that the formal recyclers should be economically competitive to compete over the informal recycling by ensuring sufficient e-waste supply and lowering the overall cost in the existing market. The construction and the economic analysis towards the Bo2W pilot workshop provide the evidence that the scale of economy, labor cost, dismantling efficiency, reuse strategy, and the material prices are the key parameters which influence the economic performance of the recyclers based on manual dismantling. The general sequence of setting up the recycling facility is to apply for legal recycling license from the government, make blueprint and detailed constructing plans for incremental development, set up EHS/ monitoring and dynamic accounting system to update the recycling activities, gradually establish business network and accumulate government support. The main suggestion for developing a large scale e-waste recycling facility is to firstly establish stable supply channels for the feed-in of e-waste streams, to set up incremental planning for gradual scaling up, and to keep dynamic auditing towards the changing factors like labor cost, new techniques and tools, material price level to adjust the recycling strategy correspondingly. Continuous circular flow of the capital from the waste equipment purchasing to the revenue gaining of the recycling would enable the recycler to receive stable turnover to be gradually competitive. Monitored and restricted financial scheme should be issued by the government or producers’ association to fund the formal recyclers to enable their surviving in the market in the early stage of development, but the recyclers should be economically autonomous in a long run view. Market and policy intervention should be made by the government to enhance the competitiveness of the formal recyclers in the market.
Wang_2008.pdf1.78 MB
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