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Estimation of future outflows and infrastructure needed to recycle personal computer systems in California

TitleEstimation of future outflows and infrastructure needed to recycle personal computer systems in California
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsKang H-Y, Schoenung JM
Journal TitleJournal of Hazardous Materials
KeywordsEnd-of-life, Infrastructure, Materials flow analysis, recycling
AbstractThe objectives of the present study are to estimate future quantities of electronic waste (e-waste) for which appropriate infrastructure needs tobe established, and to the estimate the total cost for e-waste recycling in California. Estimation of the future amounts of e-waste as a function oftime is critical to effective e-waste management.To generate estimates, we use a time-series materials flow analysis model (MFAM). The model estimates future e-waste quantities by modelingthe stages of production, usage, and disposal. We consider four scenarios for the estimation of future e-waste generation in order to consider the effects of exportation outside the State of California and of user preferences to store or to recycle the e-waste. These efforts were further investigated through the use of sensitivity analysis.The results of the present research indicate that the outflow (recycling) amount of central processing units (CPUs) will increase and will reachapproximately 8.5 million units per year in 2013, but the outflow (recycling) of cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors will decrease from 2004 inCalifornia because of the replacement of CRT monitors by liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors. In 2013, the cost for CPU recycling will be1.7 times higher than that in 2005. But for CRT monitors, the cost for recycling in 2013 will be negligible. After the State of California enactedthe ban on landfill disposal of e-waste, recycling became the most common end-of-life (EOL) option in California. Also, after 2005, the Stateof California will need more than 60 average-capacity materials recovery facilities (MRFs), to recycle the number of personal computer systemsgenerated, which represents an investment in capital of over $16 million.
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