A Tool to Evaluate Used Electronic Flows for the United States 01_2021
Glaser, John A, E. Sahle-Demessie, T. Richardson, Chun C Lee, C. Northeim, J. Petrusa, J. Larson, AND M. McGrath. A Tool to Evaluate Used Electronic Flows for the United States 01_2021. Circular Economy in the High Tech World, Cincinnati, OH, January 27 - 28, 2021.
This abstract introduces the completion of development for a new computational tool which permits state, federal and public parties to evaluate the recycling and reuse of electronic materials on a state basis. Early response to this tool has emphasized the general
A mounting stream of used electronics requiring appropriate management at the time of reuse and disposal continues to develop as part of current consumer electronics consumption and short lifespans for the commercial electronic devices. An average American owns extensive electronic components per household leading to an annual E-waste estimated at 1.8 M metric tons for 2015 which partially accounts for the massive flow of electronic materials. Comprehensive data for estimating the flow of used electronics is unavailable. USEPA has developed a tool for the assessment of quantity and flow of used electronics on a state basis. The model supporting the tool is designed to produce national-, regional-, and state-level data on the annual quantity of electronic products entering end-of-life management based on unit sales data in combination with estimates of years of useful life and average product weights. The flow model employs a combination of top-down data sources and bottom-up assumptions to track the generation of e-waste by state and estimate the material flows from generation to collection. This method uses a market supply method to calculate the amount of electronic end-of-use generated and that considers reuse, recycling, export, and disposal (landfilling). Assumptions regarding product life spans (including reuse), recycling, storage, and disposal are used to reflect consumer behavior in the disposition of used electronic devices. The tool applies Weibull distributions to characterize product lifetimes. Model predictions are compared with selected state collection data. This tool can be used for planning sustainable material management at state level that could assist the development of a circular economy in these materials. Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this abstract have not been formally disseminated By the USEPA and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.