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Time bomb or hidden treasure? Characteristics of junk TVs and of the US households who store them

TitleTime bomb or hidden treasure? Characteristics of junk TVs and of the US households who store them
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMilovantseva N, Saphores J-D
Journal TitleWaste Management
Volume33
Pages519 - 529
ISSN0956-053X
KeywordsCount models
AbstractWithin the growing stockpile of electronic waste (e-waste), TVs are especially of concern in the US because of their number (which is known imprecisely), their low recycling rate, and their material content: cathode ray tube televisions contain lead, and both rear projection and flat panel displays contain mercury, in addition to other potentially toxic materials. Based on a unique dataset from a 2010 survey, our count models show that pro-environmental behavior, age, education, household size, marital status, gender of the head of household, dwelling type, and geographic location are statistically significant variables for explaining the number of broken or obsolete (junk) TVs stored by US households. We also estimate that they are storing approximately 84.1 million junk TVs, which represents 40 pounds of scrap per household. Materials in each of these junk TVs are worth $21 on average at January 2012 materials prices, which sets an upper bound on collecting and recycling costs. This information should be helpful for developing more effective recycling strategies for TVs in the e-waste stream.
URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X12003200
DOI10.1016/j.wasman.2012.07.020
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