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Use, Storage, and Disposal of Electronic Equipment in Switzerland


Thiébaud, Esther; Hilty, Lorenz; Schluep, Mathias; Faulstich, Martin (2017). Use, Storage, and Disposal of Electronic Equipment in Switzerland. Environmental Science & Technology, 51(8):4494-4502.

Abstract

Electronic devices contain important resources, including precious and critical raw materials. For an efficient management of these resources, it is important to know where the devices are located, how long they are used and when and how they are disposed of. In this article, we explore the past and current quantities of electronic devices in the in-use stock and storage stock in Switzerland and quantify the flows between the use, storage and disposal phase with dynamic material flow analysis (MFA). Devices included are mobile phones, desktop and laptop computers, monitors, cathode ray tube and flat panel display televisions, DVD players, and headphones. The system for the dynamic MFA was developed as a cascade model dividing the use phase in first, second and further use, with each of these steps consisting of an in-use stock and a storage stock for devices. Using a customized software tool, we apply Monte Carlo simulation to systematically consider data uncertainty. The results highlight the importance of the storage stock, which accounts for 25% (in terms of mass) or 40% (in terms of pieces) of the total stock of electronic devices in 2014. Reuse and storage significantly influence the total lifetime of devices and lead to wide and positively skewed lifetime distributions.

Abstract

Electronic devices contain important resources, including precious and critical raw materials. For an efficient management of these resources, it is important to know where the devices are located, how long they are used and when and how they are disposed of. In this article, we explore the past and current quantities of electronic devices in the in-use stock and storage stock in Switzerland and quantify the flows between the use, storage and disposal phase with dynamic material flow analysis (MFA). Devices included are mobile phones, desktop and laptop computers, monitors, cathode ray tube and flat panel display televisions, DVD players, and headphones. The system for the dynamic MFA was developed as a cascade model dividing the use phase in first, second and further use, with each of these steps consisting of an in-use stock and a storage stock for devices. Using a customized software tool, we apply Monte Carlo simulation to systematically consider data uncertainty. The results highlight the importance of the storage stock, which accounts for 25% (in terms of mass) or 40% (in terms of pieces) of the total stock of electronic devices in 2014. Reuse and storage significantly influence the total lifetime of devices and lead to wide and positively skewed lifetime distributions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Date:15 March 2017
Deposited On:22 Nov 2017 13:40
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 09:19
Publisher:American Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN:0013-936X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b06336
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:15423

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