Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 377–393 | Cite as

Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment in Brazilian Public Education Institutions: Implementation Through Action Research on a University Campus

  • Cátia Emiliana Paes
  • Marcella BernardoEmail author
  • Renato da Silva Lima
  • Fabiano Leal
Original Paper


One of the problems facing public education institutions in Brazil is the question of the correct handling and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Being that these institutions are part of the public sector, they should adhere to Decree no. 99,658/1990 for the disposal of their goods. However, this decree is not completely in accordance with the Brazilian National Solid Waste Policy (PNRS), especially when considering the regulations for disposal of public goods. Thus, these institutions have no WEEE management model which encompasses not only the Decree but also the PNRS. An example of this situation can be found at the Federal University of Itajubá (UNIFEI) in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Due to the lack of such a management model, the university warehouse is at full capacity and unable to receive additional electronic equipment. Therefore, the objective of this study is to create a management model for WEEE to be used at public education institutions using the guidelines set forth in both the Decree and the PNRS. An action research investigation was performed at UNIFEI which relied upon two improvement and learning cycles to deal with all the WEEE found at the university. The first was undertaken at the university warehouse and the second at other sectors within the institution. In addition to the practical results obtained by properly disposing of 474 WEEE products, this study showed that action research is an adequate management tool for public institutions looking to deal with problems of this nature, being that these institutions are almost always subject to bureaucratic controls with respect to their public property, and expected to follow rigorous legislation that is often times controversial.


Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) Management of waste electrical and electronic equipment Brazilian National Solid Waste Policy (PNRS) Reverse logistics 



The authors would like to thank CAPES, CNPq and FAPEMIG, for their financial support given to the many projects that helped develop this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Industrial Engineering and Management Institute (IEPG)Federal University of Itajuba (UNIFEI)ItajubaBrazil

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