Proposal for an E-waste management system for the united states

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Quantities of end-of-life electronics (or e-waste) around the world keep growing. More than 1.36 million metric tons of e-waste were discarded in the U.S. in 2005, mainly in landfills, and e-waste is projected to grow in future years. This paper explores issues relating to planning future e-waste regulation and management systems in the U.S. It begins by reviewing the existing U.S. recycling systems to establish the importance of developing public responses. The paper then discusses what specific conditions are expected to influence the acceptability and implementation domestically. A key consideration is the cultural imperative in the U.S. for market-driven solutions that enable competition. Given this context, a solution is proposed that is designed to ensure a proper end-of-life management while at the same time establishing a competitive market for reuse and recycling services. The solution, termed e-Market for Returned Deposit, begins with a deposit paid by consumers to sellers at the time of purchase, electronically registered and tracked via a Radio-Frequency Identification Device (RFID) placed on the product. At end-of-life, consumers consult an Internet-enabled market in which firms compete to receive the deposit by offering consumers variable degrees of return on the deposit. After collection of the computer by the selected firm, the cyberinfrastructure utilizes the RFID to transfer the deposit to the winning firm when recycled. If the firm chooses to refurbish or resell the computer in lieu of recycling, the transfer is deferred until true end-of-life processing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2008 16th IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, ISEE
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event2008 16th IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, ISEE - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 19 May 200822 May 2008

Publication series

NameIEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment


Conference2008 16th IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, ISEE
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Collection
  • E-waste
  • Earth system engineering and management
  • Recycling
  • Reuse


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