Sustainability review of the international reverse chain for reuse and recycling of computers

Eric Williams, Ramzy Kahhat, Braden Allenby, Edward Kavazanjian, Xu Ming, Kim Junbeum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We discuss an emerging issue that has as yet received scant attention: the sustainable management of international reverse supply chains. A reverse supply chain is the network of activities involving reuse, recycling and final disposal that follow after a consumer is finished with a product. International flows of products for reuse and materials for recycling are significant and increasing. We review the sustainability issues associated the international reverse supply chain for personal computers. In terms of environment impacts, the existing literature suggests that the risk of leachage of toxic materials from sanitary landfills is low. A recent set of scientific work analyzing informal recycling in China confirms serious emissions and exposures. From a social perspective, an international used market plays a role, though as yet poorly characterized, in increasing availability of Information Technology hardware to lower income groups. Reuse and recycling activities constitute an economic of significant scale and its associated employment should be considered as a factor in societal decisions pertaining to the reverse supply chain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2008 16th IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, ISEE
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 22 2008
Event2008 16th IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, ISEE - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: May 19 2008May 22 2008

Publication series

NameIEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment

Other

Other2008 16th IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, ISEE
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Period5/19/085/22/08

Keywords

  • Computers
  • E-waste
  • Globalization
  • Information technology
  • Landfills
  • Recycling
  • Reuse
  • Reverse supply chain
  • Sustainability
  • Trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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