Multi-objective reverse logistics model for integrated computer waste management

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This study aimed to address the issues involved in the planning and design of a computer waste management system in an integrated manner. A decision-support tool is presented for selecting an optimum configuration of computer waste management facilities (segregation, storage, treatment/processing, reuse/recycle and disposal) and allocation of waste to these facilities. The model is based on an integer linear programming method with the objectives of minimizing environmental risk as well as cost. The issue of uncertainty in the estimated waste quantities from multiple sources is addressed using the Monte Carlo simulation technique. An illustrated example of computer waste management in Delhi, India is presented to demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed model and to study tradeoffs between cost and risk. The results of the example problem show that it is possible to reduce the environmental risk significantly by a marginal increase in the available cost. The proposed model can serve as a powerful tool to address the environmental problems associated with exponentially growing quantities of computer waste which are presently being managed using rudimentary methods of reuse, recovery and disposal by various small-scale vendors.

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