Inderscience Publishers

Future outflows of toxic material from end–of–life computers in India

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

This paper presents an approach to estimate the number of obsolete desktop and notebook computers and the quantity of various toxic components to be generated from these computers in the next ten to 15 years in India. This study indicates that with favourable government policies it will take 30 years more to achieve a computer penetration rate of 1 per capita. Long term equilibrium in computer penetration rate of 1.026 per capita in India will be achieved in next 32 years. Our results show that, 126 million units of desktop computers and 900 million units of notebook computers are expected to become obsolete by the end of year 2025. These results will help waste management authorities in planning appropriate infrastructure and facilities for handling, recycling and disposal of this hazardous waste. PC recycling capacity of approximately 1,045 million PCs is required by year 2020. This analysis does not address distribution of obsolete computers for reuse, recycling and landfill options nor their storage time, which is an important issue to resolve in the future.

Keywords: obsolete computers, product lifespan, hazardous waste, recycling capacity, penetration rate, logistic model, carrying capacity, toxic materials, end–of–life computers, EOL PCs, India, notebook computers, desktop computers

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