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Uncovering the Recycling Potential of "New" WEEE in China.

Uncovering the Recycling Potential of "New" WEEE in China. Newly defined categories of WEEE have increased the types of China's regulated WEEE from 5 to 14. Identification of the amounts and valuable-resource components of the "new" WEEE generated is critical to solving the e-waste problem, for both governmental policy decisions and recycling enterprise expansions. This study first estimates and predicts China's new WEEE generation for the period of 2010-2030 using material flow analysis and the lifespan model of the Weibull distribution, then determines the amounts of valuable resources (e.g., base materials, precious metals, and rare-earth minerals) encased annually in WEEE, and their dynamic transfer from in-use stock to waste. Main findings include the following: (i) China will generate 15.5 and 28.4 million tons WEEE in 2020 and 2030, respectively, and has already overtaken the U.S. to become the world's leading producer of e-waste; (ii) among all the types of WEEE, air conditioners, desktop personal computers, refrigerators, and washing machines contribute over 70% of total WEEE by weight. The two categories of EEE-electronic devices and electrical appliances-each contribute about half of total WEEE by weight; (iii) more and more valuable resources have been transferred from in-use products to WEEE, significantly enhancing the recycling potential of WEEE from an economic perspective; and (iv) WEEE recycling potential has been evolving from ∼16 (10-22) billion US$ in 2010, to an anticipated ∼42 (26-58) billion US$ in 2020 and ∼73.4 (44.5-103.4) billion US$ by 2030. All the obtained results can improve the knowledge base for closing the loop of WEEE recycling, and contribute to governmental policy making and the recycling industry's business development. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Science & Technology Pubmed

Uncovering the Recycling Potential of "New" WEEE in China.

Environmental Science & Technology , Volume 50 (3): -1288 – Sep 29, 2016

Uncovering the Recycling Potential of "New" WEEE in China.


Abstract

Newly defined categories of WEEE have increased the types of China's regulated WEEE from 5 to 14. Identification of the amounts and valuable-resource components of the "new" WEEE generated is critical to solving the e-waste problem, for both governmental policy decisions and recycling enterprise expansions. This study first estimates and predicts China's new WEEE generation for the period of 2010-2030 using material flow analysis and the lifespan model of the Weibull distribution, then determines the amounts of valuable resources (e.g., base materials, precious metals, and rare-earth minerals) encased annually in WEEE, and their dynamic transfer from in-use stock to waste. Main findings include the following: (i) China will generate 15.5 and 28.4 million tons WEEE in 2020 and 2030, respectively, and has already overtaken the U.S. to become the world's leading producer of e-waste; (ii) among all the types of WEEE, air conditioners, desktop personal computers, refrigerators, and washing machines contribute over 70% of total WEEE by weight. The two categories of EEE-electronic devices and electrical appliances-each contribute about half of total WEEE by weight; (iii) more and more valuable resources have been transferred from in-use products to WEEE, significantly enhancing the recycling potential of WEEE from an economic perspective; and (iv) WEEE recycling potential has been evolving from ∼16 (10-22) billion US$ in 2010, to an anticipated ∼42 (26-58) billion US$ in 2020 and ∼73.4 (44.5-103.4) billion US$ by 2030. All the obtained results can improve the knowledge base for closing the loop of WEEE recycling, and contribute to governmental policy making and the recycling industry's business development.

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ISSN
0013-936X
DOI
10.1021/acs.est.5b05446
pmid
26709550

Abstract

Newly defined categories of WEEE have increased the types of China's regulated WEEE from 5 to 14. Identification of the amounts and valuable-resource components of the "new" WEEE generated is critical to solving the e-waste problem, for both governmental policy decisions and recycling enterprise expansions. This study first estimates and predicts China's new WEEE generation for the period of 2010-2030 using material flow analysis and the lifespan model of the Weibull distribution, then determines the amounts of valuable resources (e.g., base materials, precious metals, and rare-earth minerals) encased annually in WEEE, and their dynamic transfer from in-use stock to waste. Main findings include the following: (i) China will generate 15.5 and 28.4 million tons WEEE in 2020 and 2030, respectively, and has already overtaken the U.S. to become the world's leading producer of e-waste; (ii) among all the types of WEEE, air conditioners, desktop personal computers, refrigerators, and washing machines contribute over 70% of total WEEE by weight. The two categories of EEE-electronic devices and electrical appliances-each contribute about half of total WEEE by weight; (iii) more and more valuable resources have been transferred from in-use products to WEEE, significantly enhancing the recycling potential of WEEE from an economic perspective; and (iv) WEEE recycling potential has been evolving from ∼16 (10-22) billion US$ in 2010, to an anticipated ∼42 (26-58) billion US$ in 2020 and ∼73.4 (44.5-103.4) billion US$ by 2030. All the obtained results can improve the knowledge base for closing the loop of WEEE recycling, and contribute to governmental policy making and the recycling industry's business development.

Journal

Environmental Science & TechnologyPubmed

Published: Sep 29, 2016

References