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Circular economy model of gold recovery from cell phones using system dynamics approach: a case study of India

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Abstract

Cell phones waste is the fastest growing electronics waste across the globe. Still in developing nations like India, most of this waste is routed to the unorganized sector causing irreparable damage to environment and health. This study has highlighted the economic, environmental and social benefits that India can gain by recycling the gold contained in discarded cell phones in an environmentally sound manner. In this work, system dynamics (SD) approach has been employed to develop a model of circular flow of gold in cell phones from manufacturing stage to recycling stage. Using the SD model developed, nine scenarios have been simulated and behavior trends of various variables under consideration are studied which provide very useful insights to facilitate policy decisions to promote cell phones recycling in India.

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Correspondence to Karishma Chaudhary.

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Chaudhary, K., Vrat, P. Circular economy model of gold recovery from cell phones using system dynamics approach: a case study of India. Environ Dev Sustain 22, 173–200 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-018-0189-9

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Keywords

  • E-waste
  • Cell phones gold reserve
  • Sustainability benefits
  • System dynamics (SD)
  • Causal loop and stock and flow diagrams
  • Gold from E-waste