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Assessment of e-waste flows: a probabilistic approach to quantify e-waste based on world ICT and development indicators

TitleAssessment of e-waste flows: a probabilistic approach to quantify e-waste based on world ICT and development indicators
Publication TypeProceedings Article
Year of Conference2009
AuthorsMueller E, Schluep M, Widmer R, Gottschalk F, Böni H
Conference NameR'09 World Congress
Conference Start Date14/09/2009
Conference LocationDavos, Switzerland
Keywordse-waste, ICT, obsolescence rate distribution, Personal computers, probabilistic model
AbstractThe rapid pace of technological change, the highly diffused implementation of electronics in everyday life and a decrease in prices has made appliances for home and office equipment both affordable and widely used. The high growth rates combined with increasing obsolescence rates result in large quantities of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment to be disposed of. In many countries flows of electric and electronic waste have never been quantified due to the lack of data and missing take-back schemes. Furthermore, studies to collect the data and to assess the e-waste quantity are often expensive and very complex. In this study a model was developed and applied to derive e-waste flows from existing indicators which are published periodically by international organizations (e.g. International Telecommunication Union, World Bank) and which are often cheaply accessible. The method allows estimating e-waste quantities in a certain region or country as well as on a global scale. A probabilistic model approach accounts for the fact that for many countries calibration data is not available. Results are shown for personal computers which show one of the highest growth rates. Further electronic appliances as well as whole e-waste categories are planned to be introduced in the model in the future.
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Mueller_2009_R09.pdf107.93 KB
Mueller_2009_R09_slides.pdf425.17 KB
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