Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Biology

Title

A material flow analysis on current electrical and electronic waste disposal from Hong Kong households

Language

English

Abstract

A material flow study on five types of household electrical and electronic equipment, namely television, washing machine, air conditioner, refrigerator and personal computer (TWARC) was conducted to assist the Government of Hong Kong to establish an e-waste take-back system. This study is the first systematic attempt on identifying key TWARC waste disposal outlets and trade practices of key parties involved in Hong Kong. Results from two questionnaire surveys, on local households and private e-waste traders, were used to establish the material flow of household TWARC waste. The study revealed that the majority of obsolete TWARC were sold by households to private e-waste collectors and that the current e-waste collection network is efficient and popular with local households. However, about 65,000. tonnes/yr or 80% of household generated TWARC waste are being exported overseas by private e-waste traders, with some believed to be imported into developing countries where crude recycling methods are practiced. Should Hong Kong establish a formal recycling network with tight regulatory control on imports and exports, the potential risks of current e-waste recycling practices on e-waste recycling workers, local residents and the environment can be greatly reduced. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

Electronic waste, Hong Kong, Material flow analysis, Waste management

Publication Date

2013

Source Publication Title

Waste Management

Volume

33

Issue

3

Start Page

714

End Page

721

Publisher

Elsevier

DOI

10.1016/j.wasman.2012.09.007

ISSN (print)

0956053X

ISSN (electronic)

18792456

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