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Research Papers

E-Waste Stream Analysis and Design Implications

[+] Author and Article Information
Minjung Kwak

 Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801kwak14@illinois.edu

Sara Behdad

 Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801behdad1@illinois.edu

Yuan Zhao

 Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801yzhao21@illinois.edu

Harrison Kim1

 Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801hmkim@illinois.edu

Deborah Thurston

 Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801thurston@illinois.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J. Mech. Des 133(10), 101003 (Sep 27, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004118 History: Received November 22, 2010; Accepted March 31, 2011; Published September 27, 2011; Online September 27, 2011

The quantity and age of the incoming stream of “feedstock” from product take-back systems are known as the major sources of the uncertainty that complicates the e-waste recovery. This paper presents the results of an analysis of data from an incoming stream for an e-waste collection center and analyzes the quantity and age of e-waste by product type and brand. The analysis results point out receiving of outdated products and processing of multiple generations, and brands of products at the same time are among main obstacles to the e-waste recovery. The potential role of product design in overcoming those obstacles is discussed with emphasis on design for upgrade, repurpose, and commonality.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Design
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Figures

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Figure 1

Histogram of distance, zip code, and arriving time for incoming products

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Figure 2

Histogram of incoming quantity per day for different product type

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Figure 3

Pareto chart of brand of CPU Box

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Figure 4

Histogram of age for different product type

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Figure 5

Histogram of stored year and stored ratio of hard drive

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Figure 6

Scatter plot of hard drive life characteristics

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Figure 7

Interval plot of age: mean and standard deviation for different brand

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