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Waste management of electric and electronic equipment: comparative analysis of end-of-life strategies

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This article analyzes diverse aspects of the waste management of electronic and electric equipment. The scope of the study focuses on end-of-life strategies currently implemented in industrialized economies such as Japan, the United States, and the European Union. The objective is a comparative analysis of such strategies in order to identify logistic issues that may contribute to the further improvement of waste management policies. The results indicate that although all strategies follow the extended producer responsibility principle, in practice several logistic differences arise due to particular interpretations of the concept. In general, it was observed that a direct comparison is rather difficult since the strategies consider different legal frameworks, they cover different types and numbers of products, and the resultant mass flows and related operational costs are highly context-dependent variables. Therefore, it is not possible to indicate which strategy presents the highest overall efficiency. The study concludes that a little contribution is feasible if the advantages and weaknesses of the models depicted and discussed here are considered in further regulatory decisions.

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