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Material flow and economic analysis as a suitable tool for system analysis under the constraints of poor data availability and quality in emerging economies

TitleMaterial flow and economic analysis as a suitable tool for system analysis under the constraints of poor data availability and quality in emerging economies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsStreicher-Porte M, Bader H-P, Scheidegger R, Kytzia S
Journal TitleClean Technologies and Environmental Policy
Volume9
Pages325-345
ISSN1618-954X
AbstractWaste from electrical and electronic equipment or e-waste is increasingly processed in transitional or developing countries. The waste originates from both national consumption and waste imports. In these countries the e-waste processing and recycling is managed almost entirely by informal recycling businesses. Due to the application of inappropriate techniques, this sector bares high risks of environmental and occupational hazards and also looses valuable materials. Formal recycling industries have to compete with the informal businesses and simultaneously comply with environmental and occupational regulations. The presented model applies a dynamic stock-driven material flow model and an economic evaluation of gold and copper flows to the Indian personal computer (PC) recycling sector. The metal concentration per PC and value of these metals mainly determine the profits for recyclers. The study introduced threshold values for formal and informal gold and copper recycling according to their recycling cost per PC. At present level of metal concentration per PC and metal prices the formal sector will not become active. Two scenarios, one with double metal prices and a second with reduced threshold values for formal recycling, have been calculated. Also under theses scenarios the formal recycling sector will not overtake a majority of the recycling. The model proves that a stock-driven dynamic material flow model can be combined with an economic evaluation of material flows. The analysis included a calculation of error propagation and a sensitivity analysis.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10098-007-0114-7
AttachmentSize
Streicher_2007_CleanTechnEnvironPolicy.pdf707.74 KB
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