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Abstract As the Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) are upgraded more frequently in China, a large quantity of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) was and will be generated. It becomes an urgent issue to develop and adopt an effective End-of-Life (EoL) strategy for EEE in order to balance the resource recovery and environmental impacts. In an EoL strategy hierarchy for EEE, reuse strategy is usually deemed to be prior to materials recovery and other strategies. But in practice, the advantages and disadvantages of different strategies are always context-dependent. Therefore, main EoL strategies for EEE in China need to be evaluated in environment and resources aspects from the life cycle perspective. In this study, the obsolete refrigerator and Power Supply Unit (PSU) of desktop PC are both taken as the target products. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is applied to assess the environmental impacts of different EoL scenarios in China: Unit Reuse Scenario (URS), Component Reuse Scenario (CRS) and Materials Recovery Scenario (MRS). The LCA results show that the EoL strategies hierarchy is reasonable for the part of computer, but not necessarily suitable for obsolete refrigerators. When the policy makers promote or demote one EoL strategy especially reuse, it is necessary to take subsequent impacts into consideration.
"Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering" – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2017
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