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Service lifetime, storage time, and disposal pathways of electronic equipment: a swiss case study product lifetime of electronics in Switzerland


Thiébaud -Müller, Esther; Hilty, Lorenz; Schluep, Mathias; Widmer, Rolf; Faulstich, Martin (2018). Service lifetime, storage time, and disposal pathways of electronic equipment: a swiss case study product lifetime of electronics in Switzerland. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 22(1):196-208.

Abstract

Product lifetime is an essential aspect of dynamic material flow analyses and has been modeled using lifetime distribution functions, mostly average lifetimes. Existing data regarding the lifetime of electronic equipment (EE) are based on diverging definitions of lifetime as well as different temporal and regional scopes. After its active use, EE is often not disposed of immediately, but remains in storage for some time. Specific data on the share of EE that is stored and the time they remain in storage are scarce. This article investigates the service lifetime, storage time, and disposal pathways of ten electronic device types, based on data from an online survey complemented by structured interviews. We distinguish between new and secondhand devices and compute histograms, averages, and medians of the different lifetimes and their change over time. The average service lifetime varies from 3.3 years for mobile phones to 10.8 years for large loudspeakers, the average storage time from 0.8 years for flat panel display televisions to 3.6 years for large loudspeakers. Most service lifetime histograms are positively skewed and show substantial differences among device types. The storage time histograms, being more similar to one another, indicate that the storage behavior is similar for most device types. The data on disposal pathways show that a large proportion of devices are stored and reused before they reach the collection scheme.

Abstract

Product lifetime is an essential aspect of dynamic material flow analyses and has been modeled using lifetime distribution functions, mostly average lifetimes. Existing data regarding the lifetime of electronic equipment (EE) are based on diverging definitions of lifetime as well as different temporal and regional scopes. After its active use, EE is often not disposed of immediately, but remains in storage for some time. Specific data on the share of EE that is stored and the time they remain in storage are scarce. This article investigates the service lifetime, storage time, and disposal pathways of ten electronic device types, based on data from an online survey complemented by structured interviews. We distinguish between new and secondhand devices and compute histograms, averages, and medians of the different lifetimes and their change over time. The average service lifetime varies from 3.3 years for mobile phones to 10.8 years for large loudspeakers, the average storage time from 0.8 years for flat panel display televisions to 3.6 years for large loudspeakers. Most service lifetime histograms are positively skewed and show substantial differences among device types. The storage time histograms, being more similar to one another, indicate that the storage behavior is similar for most device types. The data on disposal pathways show that a large proportion of devices are stored and reused before they reach the collection scheme.

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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:2018
Deposited On:23 Jan 2018 20:08
Last Modified:14 Mar 2018 15:30
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1088-1980
Additional Information:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Journal of Industrial Ecology, Volume 22, Issue 1, pages 196–208, February 2018, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12551. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html#terms).
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12551
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:15422

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