Development of a methodology for electronic waste estimation: A material flow analysis-based SYE-Waste Model

Improved living standards and the share of services sector to the economy in Asia, and the use of electronic equipment is on the rise and results in increased electronic waste generation. A peculiarity of electronic waste is that it has a ‘significant’ value even after its life time, and to add complication, even after its extended life in its ‘dump’ stage. Thus, in Indian situations, after its life time is over, the e-material changes hands more than once and finally ends up either in the hands of informal recyclers or in the store rooms of urban dwellings. This character makes it extremely difficult to estimate electronic waste generation. The present study attempts to develop a functional model based on a material flow analysis approach by considering all possible end uses of the material, its transformed goods finally arriving at disposal. It considers various degrees of uses derived of the e-goods regarding their primary use (life time), secondary use (first degree extension of life), third-hand use (second degree extension of life), donation, retention at the respective places (without discarding), fraction shifted to scrap vendor, and the components reaching the final dump site from various end points of use. This ‘generic functional model’ named SYE-Waste Model, developed based on a material flow analysis approach, can be used to derive ‘obsolescence factors’ for various degrees of usage of e-goods and also to make a comprehensive estimation of electronic waste in any city/country.
Source: viaexpo.com

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