Electronic Waste and The Circular Economy

Electronic devices are a key component in today’s world. The average household is likely to have purchased 100s of technology devices over the past decade. Cellphones, TVs, computers, tablets and gaming systems are not built to last a lifetime and choosing to repair such devices can be as costly as buying a replacement.

“E-waste presents a complex and growing challenge in the path toward a circular economy – a more sustainable economic system that focuses on recycling materials and minimizing e-waste,” (Science Daily, 2021). Contributing to the global e-waste problem is constituted by the poor recycling practices companies part take in. Instead of properly disposing of e-waste, these devices tend to end up in landfills or shipped to other countries.

Gathered research from the Hypothetical Materials Lab at the University of Pittsburgh has been developed into a framework to recognize the decisions a recycler makes as well as, the role digital fraud prevention plays in averting poor recycling practices.

The developed model framework evaluates poor end-of-life electronics management and the influences that lead recyclers to participate in fraudulent activities. The researchers noted a primary way to ensure recyclers undertake honest practices with minimum supervision is to make it more profitable. This can be done by decreasing recycling costs or increasing penalties for fraudulent activity. “Higher penalties for fraud and manufacturers ensuring their electronics are more easily recyclable are all things that could potentially solve this problem.” (Science Daily, 2021).

Lifespan’s processes contribute positively to the circular economy – proven by our dedicated approach to re-use & redeployment of technology and our commitment to our R2 certification. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company contribute to the circular economy with honest recycling practices.

For more information read the article, Modeling a circular economy for electronic waste by Science Daily.

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