Inderscience Publishers

Empirical analysis of collaboration potential of SMEs in product recovery networks in Germany

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The operating area of treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is currently subject of major legal, organisational, and structural changes. To assist small- and medium-sized disassembly companies in anticipating these changes, framework and future requirements as well as material flows and processes in treatment of WEEE are analysed. It is expected that SMEs can only persist cooperating in disassembly networks. Therefore, existing disassembly networks are analysed and characterised. Based on this empirical study, relevant criteria for persistence of SME networks can be deduced and benchmarking of networks becomes possible. Recommendations for disassembly networks are drawn and areas for reasonable subsidisation of these networks by political decision makers and stakeholders are given.

Keywords: product recovery networks, SMEs, material flow analysis, case study, Germany, WEEE Directive, disassembly networks, electrical equipment, electronic equipment, end-of-life products, waste management, recycling, industrial ecology

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