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Forecasting Global Generation of Obsolete Personal Computers

TitleForecasting Global Generation of Obsolete Personal Computers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsYu J, Williams E, Ju M, Yang Y
Journal TitleEnvironmental Science & Technology
AbstractElectronic waste (e-waste) has emerged as a new policy priority around the world. Motivations to address e-waste include rapidly growing waste streams, concern over the environmental fate of heavy metals and other substances in e-waste, and impacts of informal recycling in developing countries. Policy responses to global e-waste focus on banning international trade in end-of-life electronics, the premise being that e-waste is mainly generated in the developed world and then exported to the developing world. Sales of electronics have, however, been growing rapidly in developing nations, raising the question of whether informal recycling in developing countries driven by international trade or domestic generation. This paper addresses this question by forecasting the global generation of obsolete personal computers {(PCs)} using the logistic model and material flow analysis. Results show that the volume of obsolete {PCs} generated in developing regions will exceed that of developed regions by 2016โˆ’2018. By 2030, the obsolete {PCs} from developing regions will reach 400โˆ’700 million units, far more than from developed regions at 200โˆ’300 million units. Future policies to mitigate the impacts of informal recycling should address the domestic situation in developing countries.
DOIdoi: 10.1021/es903350q
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