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Economic evaluation of optional recycling processes for waste electronic home appliances

TitleEconomic evaluation of optional recycling processes for waste electronic home appliances
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsLiu X, Tanaka M, Matsui Y
Journal TitleJournal of Cleaner Production
KeywordsBeijing, Economic evaluation, recycling, Waste electronic home appliances
AbstractThis paper presents an economic evaluation of three typical recycling processes for the five main types of waste electronic home appliances (EHA) (TV set, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner and personal computer) in Beijing, the capital of China. The main purpose is to identify the formal management framework with economic feasibility for the waste EHA generated in large municipalities of China. It is found that the advanced technologies, which have mechanical processing units, should be introduced to recover more valuable materials from the waste appliances. Net revenues with a range of 90-240 RMB (Chinese currency unit, 1.0 USD [approximate] 8.0 RMB) per unit, depend on the type of appliance, could be expected in case of using the most complicated procedures which can separate both metals and plastics from the shredded mixtures. However, the recycling of waste refrigerator and waste washing machine will, respectively, spend about 100 and 6 RMB per unit if solely by simple manual dismantling. Revenues from recycling of the other three types of appliances are positive but quite low in this case. Although positive revenues could be achieved from the isolated evaluation of recycling, the entire management system, which also covers the phases of collection and transportation, is economically infeasible if the waste appliances are bought from the households still at current prices. Based on a survey of the householder's attitude to the cost for waste EHA management, which was conducted earlier, the practical way to construct a formal management system for waste EHA in Beijing is to reduce the citizen's traditional expectation to the values of waste appliances and encourage their transfer to the formal collection system at lower prices.
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