Assessing the benefits of design for recycling for plastics inelectronics: A case study of computer enclosures
Description: With the emergence of extended producer responsibilityregulations for electronic devices, it is becoming increasingly importantfor electronics manufacturers to apply design for recycling (DFR) methodsin the design of plastic enclosures. This paper presents an analyticalframework for quantifying the environmental and economic benefits of DFRfor plastic computer enclosures during the design process, usingstraightforward metrics that can be aligned with corporate environmentaland financial performance goals. The analytical framework is demonstratedvia a case study of a generic desktop computer enclosure design, which isrecycled using a typical US "take-back" system for plastics from wasteelectronics. The case study illustrates how the analytical framework canbe used by the enclosure designer to quantify the environmental andeconomic benefits of two important DFR strategies: choosing high-valueresins and minimizing enclosure disassembly time. Uncertainty analysis isperformed to quantify the uncertainty surrounding economic conditions inthe future when the enclosure is ultimately recycled.
Date: December 31, 2007
Creator: Masanet, Eric & Horvath, Arpad
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