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Electronic Waste Management and Sustainable Development 2nd Edition

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Waste and Recycling".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 August 2024 | Viewed by 1713

Special Issue Editors

School of Management, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, China
Interests: waste management; sustainable development; decision analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
College of Economics and Management, Research Centre for Soft Energy Science, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 211106, China
Interests: low carbon and sustainable development; multicriteria decision analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

E-waste (electronic waste), which is also known as waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), has become one of the fastest-growing waste streams worldwide. As predicted by the Global E-waste Monitor 2020, global e-waste is predicted to reach 74.7 Mt by 2030, being fueled by higher electric and electronic consumption rates, shorter lifecycles, and limited repair options. E-waste is currently destined for appropriate recycling and disposal, being one of the largest known sources of pollutants in municipal waste, as well as a secondary source of various valuable materials and metals. Proper “e-waste mining” can reduce the pressure on natural resources and space in landfill sites and cut the emission of pollutants, contributing to the circular economy and sustainable development. However, when inadequately treated, the heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants released can be redistributed, bioaccumulated, and biomagnified, potentially harming human health and contaminating air, water, and soil.

The e-waste problem has attracted the attention of many countries and regions around the world. Better understanding and management of e-waste could contribute to the achievement of several goals (SDGs 3, 6, 8, 11, 12, and 14) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To this end, a number of initiatives have been implemented, such as the EPR, RoHS, StEP, and 3Rs programs, to facilitate the development of recycling infrastructure and technology, effective policies and legal instruments, and low-carbon behaviors among manufacturers and consumers. However, effective global e-waste management practices are still hampered by many financial, technological, legislative, and managerial barriers. For example, as indicated by the literature and past field investigations, developed economies with established waste management systems are struggling due to the complex nature of e-waste, while developing economies are in desperate need of effective laws and strategies to promote formal e-waste management. Thus, it is of strategic significance for policymakers and practitioners to find solutions capable of overcoming e-waste-related barriers and challenges, thus achieving sustainable e-waste management.

This Special Issue intends to draw attention to the need to address e-waste management problems based on diverse perspectives. It aims to initiate worldwide discussions regarding the future challenges and opportunities related to e-waste mining, as well as generate valuable insights to help policymakers, industries, and consumers implement low-carbon management methods to achieve a sustainable future.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following subjects:

  • E-waste management policies and initiatives;
  • Technologies and innovations in e-waste recycling, recovery, and treatment;
  • Strategies and methods used in e-waste collection, reduction, and recycling;
  • Activities, behaviors, and responsibilities of stakeholders (e.g., governments, recycling industry, producers, consumers, etc.) involved in e-waste management;
  • Strategic/operational planning and decision-making in the e-waste recycling industry;
  • Economic, environmental, social, and health impacts of e-waste;
  • Circular economy, low-carbon development, and zero-waste cities;
  • E-waste management in the digital age;
  • E-waste transboundary movement and recycling in developing countries.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Yan Xu
Dr. Ling Zhang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • e-waste/waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
  • sustainable development
  • circular economy
  • zero waste
  • sustainability
  • recycling technology and innovation
  • waste management policy and regulation
  • low-carbon recycling awareness and behavior
  • waste to energy
  • waste to resource

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

22 pages, 850 KiB  
Article
Environmental Impacts on Soil and Groundwater of Informal E-Waste Recycling Processes in Ghana
by Karoline Owusu-Sekyere, David Alatule Aladago, Dominik Leverenz, Martin Oteng-Ababio and Martin Kranert
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4347; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114347 - 21 May 2024
Viewed by 374
Abstract
This study examines the environmental impacts of informal e-waste recycling processes in Agbogbloshie, Ghana, which is one of the most notorious e-waste recycling sites in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite being unsafe and unorganized, the informal sector is still actively involved in dismantling, extracting, and [...] Read more.
This study examines the environmental impacts of informal e-waste recycling processes in Agbogbloshie, Ghana, which is one of the most notorious e-waste recycling sites in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite being unsafe and unorganized, the informal sector is still actively involved in dismantling, extracting, and disposing of e-waste in unauthorized locations on a considerably large scale. However, the academic research on the environmental consequences of informal recycling practices is limited. Soil and groundwater samples for five important and representative informal e-waste recycling processes and one related oil process were collected and analyzed to determine heavy metal-, PBDEs, PCBs, CBs, and PAHs concentrations. Contamination indices were used to assess and compare the effects of informal recycling processes, thereby providing a geochemical evaluation of soil conditions. As a result, the manual dismantling of CRT and ICT devices is the major source of heavy metal pollution. Furthermore, the burning of e-waste plastic for waste reduction purposes and the oil collection process substantially contribute to the input of organic pollutants. Regulatory measures for CRT and ICT recycling would result in an 85% reduction of heavy metals and the enforcement of a compulsory collection system for plastic and oil would eliminate 86% of the organic pollutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Waste Management and Sustainable Development 2nd Edition)
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16 pages, 2194 KiB  
Article
Brazil’s Formal E-Waste Recycling System: From Disposal to Reverse Manufacturing
by Danieli Braun Vargas, Lucila Maria de Souza Campos and Mônica Maria Mendes Luna
Sustainability 2024, 16(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16010066 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1035
Abstract
This study investigates the post-regulation scenario of waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) reverse logistics in Florianópolis, an island in southern Brazil, following Decree N° 10240/2020. Employing a case study approach, involving observation and semi-structured interviews, the research explores key stakeholders’ roles. The [...] Read more.
This study investigates the post-regulation scenario of waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) reverse logistics in Florianópolis, an island in southern Brazil, following Decree N° 10240/2020. Employing a case study approach, involving observation and semi-structured interviews, the research explores key stakeholders’ roles. The results indicate collaborative efforts among the municipal cleaning service provider, recycler, and manager entity, supporting effective e-waste take-back systems. This cooperation not only strengthens the formal recycling market but also yields socio-environmental benefits. The study reveals that optimal outcomes arise from the collaboration between the public cleaning service provider and the business sector, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship. Concerning e-waste value recovery, there is a notable inclination to extend the life cycle of small equipment, emphasizing reuse and remanufacture cycles, while larger electrical and electronic items follow to recycling and recovery cycles. In summary, this research contributes to aligning stakeholders in e-waste reverse logistics, emphasizing compliance with legislation and fostering a deeper understanding of roles, functions, and alliances. The study provides a strategic and structured perspective on e-waste management in a city renowned for selective waste collection and considered a national benchmark for reverse logistics, reinforcing its commitment to sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Waste Management and Sustainable Development 2nd Edition)
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