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Product recovery with some byte: an overview of management challenges and environmental consequences in reverse manufacturing for the computer industry

TitleProduct recovery with some byte: an overview of management challenges and environmental consequences in reverse manufacturing for the computer industry
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsWhite CD, Masanet E, Meisner Rosen C, Beckman SL
Journal TitleJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume11
Pages445-458
KeywordsComputer, Demanufacturing, Design for environment, Environmental management, Product recovery, Remanufacturing, Reverse manufacturing
AbstractEstimates vary about the rate at which end-of-life computer products have been piling up, but the total population of spent computers is likely to reach into the hundreds of millions. To tackle this mounting solid and hazardous wastenext term problem, previous termpolicynext term and business entrepreneurs are promoting product recovery as an environmentally preferable alternative to disposal, and product recovery infrastructure and strategy has begun to develop in recent decades. However, despite some real and theoretical developments in the field, current literature lacks an overall description of the recovery process capable of capturing the essence of end-of-life management challenges for complex, rapidly obsolete, high-tech products like computers and previous termelectronics.next term The absence of this broad frame of reference presents a problem for managers trying to integrate environmentally sound choices into planning and management. Using case research from the computer and previous termelectronicsnext term industry, in this paper we present a generalized overview of product recovery. The purpose of this paper is two-fold: to describe the recovery of computers as a step-by-step process, and to frame an environmental research agenda for recovery management. With an eye toward generalizing the growing and diversifying practices in reverse manufacturing, we use our description from the computer and previous termelectronicsnext term industry to highlight broad challenges that managers confront at each stage of the process and to identify environmental dimensions of product recovery management decisions that require additional research.
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