Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 349–369 | Cite as

Characterization of monitor recycling in Seattle, Washington

Original Article

Abstract

With the rapid growth of electronic waste (e-waste), policies that aim to effectively manage this waste stream have been introduced globally in recent years. Seattle, Washington, has been on the forefront of introducing policies to divert e-waste from the landfills and maximize recycling. With the introduction of the Take-it-Back-Network, a solid recycling infrastructure has existed in the Greater Seattle region since 2003. In 2009, the E-Cycle Washington program took into effect and now allows recyclers to offer free recycling of certain e-waste to households and small entities. Although policies to divert e-waste from the landfill to reuse and recycling is effective, there is also a need to analyze the current regional recycling infrastructure’s capacity to handle changing equipment and material quantities. This study aims to characterize the Seattle regional e-waste management capacity, with a focus on retired monitors as an example of a changing e-waste technology. We investigated waste computer monitor recycling in the Greater Seattle region, which includes the counties of King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap. Interviews were conducted on 20 collectors, 1 handler, and 2 processors to collect information on their business models, computer monitor management processes, and collection/processing quantities. Using this information, we summarize the material flows of end-of-life (EOL) cathode ray tube (CRT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors in the region, both from the qualitative and quantitative perspective.

Keywords

Electronic waste Computer monitors Cathode ray tube Liquid crystal display Material flow analysis Seattle 

References

  1. Babu BR, Parande AK, Basha CA (2007) Electrical and electronic waste: a global environmental problem. Waste Manage Res 25(4):307–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basel Action Network (BAN) (2008) e-Stewards—responsible e-cyclers (http://ban.org/pledge/Locations.html) Last updated February 9, 2008; Accessed on 25 Feb 2008
  3. California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) (2009) Approved collectors and recyclers of covered electronic waste. (http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Electronics/Reports/Search.aspx). Last updated 15 April 2009; Accessed 15 April 2009
  4. DisplaySearch (2008) DisplaySearch reports Q4’07 worldwide LCD TV shipments surpass CRTs for first time. (http://www.displaysearch.com/cps/rde/xchg/displaysearch/hs.xsl/6138.asp). Last updated 19 Feb 2008; Accessed 20 June 2008
  5. Durbin K (2 May 2009) Legislature’s 2009 session may have broad impact. ColumbianGoogle Scholar
  6. Electronics Takeback Coalition (2008) States where you can’t throw E-waste into the trash. (http://www.e-takeback.org/docs%20open/Toolkit_Legislators/state%20legislation/disposal%20bans.htm) Last updated 26 May 2008; Accessed 20 June 2008
  7. European Union (EU) (2003) Directive 2002/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Off J EU L037:24–39Google Scholar
  8. Ford C (2006) Trail operations’ E-scrap solution. The Teck Cominco Citizen December:22–23Google Scholar
  9. Ford C (2007) Teck Cominco electronics recycling. (http://www.members.shaw.ca/cwma3/slides2/151-ChristaFord-TeckCominco-ElectronicsRecycling.ppt) Last updated March 2007; Accessed 30 October 2008
  10. Herat S (2008) Recycling of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in Electronic waste. Clean—soil, air. Water 36(1):19–24Google Scholar
  11. Hoovers, Inc. (2008) http://www.hoovers.com. Last updated 26 April 2007; Accessed 27 April 2007
  12. Jang M, Hong SM, Park JK (2005) Characterization and recovery of mercury from spent fluorescent lamps. Waste Manage 25(1):5–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kahhat R, Williams E (2009) Product or waste? Importation and end-of-life processing of computers in Peru. Environ Sci Technol 43(15):6010–6016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kahhat R, Kim J, Xu M, Allenby B, Williams E, Zhang P (2008) Exploring e-waste management systems in the United States. Resour Conserv Recycling 52(7):955–964CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kang H, Schoenung JM (2006) Estimation of future outflows and infrastructure needed to recycle personal computer systems in California. J Hazard Mater 137(2):1165–1174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (KCDNRP) (2005) Waste acceptance rule for king county solid waste division solid waste handling facilities (PUT 7-1-5)Google Scholar
  17. King County Solid Waste Division (KCSWD) (2007) Literature review—flat panel displays: end of life managementGoogle Scholar
  18. King County Solid Waste Division (KCSWD) (2008) Take it back network. (http://www.metrokc.gov/dnrp/swd/takeitback/index.asp) Last updated 2 Oct 2008; Accessed 4 Feb 2009
  19. Lee S, Cooper J (2008) Estimating regional material flows for LCDs. In: Proceedings of the IEEE international symposium on electronics and the environment, 19–21 November 2008, San Francisco, CA, USA. IEEE, pp 1–6Google Scholar
  20. Leigh NG, Realff MJ, Ai N, French SP, Ross CL, Bras B (2007) Modeling obsolete computer stock under regional data constraints: an Atlanta case study. Resour Conserv Recycling 51(4):847–869CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lin K (2007) The effect of heating temperature of thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) optical waste glass as a partial substitute partial for clay in eco-brick. J Cleaner Prod 15(18):1755–1759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Navarro M (16 September 2009) Following trash and recyclables on their journey. The New York TimesGoogle Scholar
  23. Noon M (2009) A life cycle assessment of end-of-life computer monitor management in the Seattle Metropolitan Region. Master’s Thesis, University of Washington, SeattleGoogle Scholar
  24. Office of Economic Development (27 July 2009) It’s not trash anymore! Seattle hits 50% recycling rate. City of SeattleGoogle Scholar
  25. Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (2009) Municipal solid waste generation, recycling, and disposal in the United States—detailed tables and figures for 2008, NovemberGoogle Scholar
  26. Office of Solid Waste, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (2008) Electronic waste management in the United States: approach 1Google Scholar
  27. Puckett J, Byster L, Westervelt S, Gutierrez R, Davis S, Hussain A et al (2002) Exporting harm: the high-tech trashing of Asia. The Basel action network (BAN) and Silicon Valley toxics coalitionGoogle Scholar
  28. ReferenceUSA (2008) http://www.referenceusa.com. Last updated 24 July 2008; Accessed 25 July 2008
  29. Snohomish County Council (SCC) (2002) Amending chapter 7.41, Snohomish County Code, relating to operating rules and disposal fees for Snohomish County solid waste disposal sitesGoogle Scholar
  30. Snohomish County Public Works Department (SCPWD) (2008) Take it back programs. (http://www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/Departments/Public_Works/Divisions/SolidWaste/TakeItBack/) Last updated 10 January 2008; Accessed 04 February 2008
  31. State of California Board of Equilization (BOE) (2006) Special taxes—electronic waste recycling (eWaste) fee. (http://www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/ewaste.htm) Last updated 2006; Accessed 25 February 2008
  32. State of Washington (2006) Engrossed substitute senate bill 6248Google Scholar
  33. SustainLane (2008) SustainLane presents: the 2008 US City rankings. (http://www.sustainlane.com/us-city-rankings/) Last updated 22 September 2008; Accessed 20 November 2009
  34. Teck (2008) Recycling. (http://www.teck.com/Generic.aspx?PAGE=Products+%26+Services+Pages%2FeRecycling&portalName=tc) Last updated 2008; Accessed 15 March 2008
  35. Total Reclaim (2008) http://www.totalreclaim.com. Last updated 2008; Accessed 15 May 2008
  36. Vancouver Business Journal (VBJ) Staff (14 March 2007) Regional electronics recycler newest port of Vancouver tenant. VBJ OnlineGoogle Scholar
  37. Wagner TP (2009) Shared responsibility for managing electronic waste: A case study of Maine, USA. Waste Manage 29(12):3014–3021CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Washington Materials Management & Financing Authority (WMMFA) (2009) Standard plan for recycling covered electronic products in Washington StateGoogle Scholar
  39. Washington State Department of Ecology (WSDOE) (2008) 1-800 Recycle hotline database. (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/recycle/search.aspx) Last updated 26 January 2008; Accessed 4 February 2008
  40. Washington State Department of Ecology (WSDOE) (2009) E-cycle Washington. (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/eproductrecycle) Last updated 1 February 2009; Accessed 20 February 2009
  41. Washington State Department of General Administration (WSDGA) (2008) (http://www.ga.wa.gov/) Last updated 2008; Accessed 12 March 2008
  42. Widmer R, Oswald-Krapf H, Sinha-Khetriwal D, Schnellmann M, Boni H (2005) Global perspectives on e-waste. Environ Impact Assess Rev 25(5):436–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.SBW Consulting, Inc.BellevueUSA

Personalised recommendations