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Electronic waste management approaches: An overview

TitleElectronic waste management approaches: An overview
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKiddee P, Naidu R, Wong MH
Journal TitleWaste Management
KeywordsExtended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
AbstractElectronic waste (e-waste) is one of the fastest-growing pollution problems worldwide given the presence if a variety of toxic substances which can contaminate the environment and threaten human health, if disposal protocols are not meticulously managed. This paper presents an overview of toxic substances present in e-waste, their potential environmental and human health impacts together with management strategies currently being used in certain countries. Several tools including Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Material Flow Analysis (MFA), Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) have been developed to manage e-wastes especially in developed countries. The key to success in terms of e-waste management is to develop eco-design devices, properly collect e-waste, recover and recycle material by safe methods, dispose of e-waste by suitable techniques, forbid the transfer of used electronic devices to developing countries, and raise awareness of the impact of e-waste. No single tool is adequate but together they can complement each other to solve this issue. A national scheme such as EPR is a good policy in solving the growing e-waste problems.
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