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  • Quantitative Characterization of Domestic and Transboundary Flows of Used Electronics Analysis of Generation, Collection, and Export in the United States

    December 2013

    Huabo Duan, T. Reed Miller, Jeremy Gregory, Randolph Kirchain

    Jason Linnell

    Under the umbrella of: With financial support from:

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    The vision of the StEP Initiative To be agents and stewards of change, uniquely leading global

    thinking, knowledge, awareness and innovation in the management

    and development of environmentally, economically and ethically

    sound e-waste resource recovery, re-use and prevention.

    For more details: www.stepinitiative.org Disclaimer The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the United Nations University and the United States Environmental Protection Agency concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

    Moreover, the views expressed do not necessarily represent the decision or the stated policy of the United Nations University, United States Environmental Protection Agency and Solving the Ewaste Problem (StEP) Initiative and its members nor does citing of trade names or commercial processes constitute endorsement.

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    Table of Contents Definitions ......................................................................................................................................................... 8 Executive Summary ................................................................................................................................... 10 1 Introduction .......................................................................................................................................... 14

    1.1 Background ..................................................................................................................................... 14 1.2 Scope of the Study ........................................................................................................................ 15 1.3 Overview of Methodology ........................................................................................................ 15

    1.3.1 Generation and collection ............................................................................................... 16 1.3.2 Export ........................................................................................................................................ 17

    2 Results ..................................................................................................................................................... 20 2.1 Generation and Collection Results ....................................................................................... 20

    2.1.1 TVs .............................................................................................................................................. 20 2.1.2 Mobile Phones ....................................................................................................................... 24 2.1.3 Computers ............................................................................................................................... 26 2.1.4 Monitors ................................................................................................................................... 29

    2.2 Export Results ................................................................................................................................ 32 2.2.1 TVs .............................................................................................................................................. 32 2.2.2 Mobile Phones ....................................................................................................................... 34 2.2.3 Computers ............................................................................................................................... 36 2.2.4 Monitors ................................................................................................................................... 39

    3 Comparison and Summary of the Flows for All Examined Products ........................ 42 3.1 Generation, Collection and Export Comparison ............................................................ 42 3.2 Export Summary ........................................................................................................................... 44

    3.2.1 Potential of Reexport of Exported Used Laptops ............................................... 47 3.2.2 Comparison with Other Study ....................................................................................... 48

    4 Conclusions and Recommendations ......................................................................................... 49 4.1 Conclusions ..................................................................................................................................... 49 4.2 Recommendations ....................................................................................................................... 50

    5 References ............................................................................................................................................. 51 6 Appendices ............................................................................................................................................ 55

    6.1 Generation and Collection ........................................................................................................ 56 6.1.1 Methodology Overview .................................................................................................... 56 6.1.1.2.1 Literature-based ........................................................................................................... 59 6.1.2 Data and Intermediate Results ..................................................................................... 75

    6.2 Export................................................................................................................................................. 95 6.2.1 Methodology Overview .................................................................................................... 95 6.2.2 Data and Intermediate Results .................................................................................. 118

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    List of Tables Table 1: Scope of Products in Study, Export Approach, and Distinction of Generation and Collection by Owner Types ..................................................................................................................................... 15

    Table 2: Generation and Collection of Used TVs in 2010 (Thousand units) ................................... 22

    Table 3: Generation and Collection of Used Mobile Phones in 2010 (Thousand units) ............ 25

    Table 4: Generation and Collection of Used Computers in 2010 (Thousand units) .................... 28

    Table 5: Generation and Collection of Used Monitors in 2010 (Thousand unit) .......................... 31

    Table 6: Potential of reexport from 2010 top ten destination countries Quantities of laptops in thousands. Used exports from US based on US Export NVEM. ....................................... 47

    Table 7: Comparison between Literaturebased Method and Surveybased Method for Generation and Collection ....................................................................................................................................... 59

    Table 8: Equations used to calculate mean path length and mean path probability .................. 62

    Table 9: Designation of Failure, Generation, and Collection by Discard Type ............................... 66

    Table 10: Business/Public 2010 Computer and Monitor Scale Factors ............................................ 74

    Table 11: Sales Data Sources for TVs ................................................................................................................. 75

    Table 12: Lifespan Data Sources........................................................................................................................... 77

    Table 13: Modeled Lifespan Stage Lengths (Years) .................................................................................... 78

    Table 14: Probability of Paths Leading to Generation (CRT TVs) ........................................................ 79

    Table 15: Mean Probabilities and Mean Total Lifespans of 6 Paths to Generation .................... 80

    Table 16: Statewide Used Electronics Collection (lbs) for Those States with Statistics in 2010............................................................................................................................................................................................... 81

    Table 17: Statewide Used Electronics Disposal Rate, Percentage of MSW Disposal Weight .. 82

    Table 18: 2010 TVs Collection Approaches Evaluation ............................................................................ 83

    Table 19: 2010 TVs Collection Rates .................................................................................................................. 83

    Table 20: Sales Data Sources for Mobile phone ............................................................................................ 87

    Table 21: Lifespan Data Sources........................................................................................................................... 88

    Table 22: Modeled Lifespan St