Towards Sustainable E-Waste Management Through Industrial Symbiosis: A Supply Chain Perspective

  • Biswajit DebnathEmail author
Part of the Strategies for Sustainability book series (STSU)


The issue of e-waste is global and is a mini catastrophe which is a big threat to the whole anthropogenosphere. There has been a laudable amount of research activities going on around the world on e-waste management for the last two decades. The last decade saw acceleration in developing and/or modifying technologies for environmentally sound e-waste recycling. However, this anthropogenic stockpile can be used for resource recovery and circulation. This is the main concept of urban mining, which facilitates the recovery of material and energy from urban waste and brings them back into the economy. The term urban mining has become synonymous with e-waste recycling as it is the most potential candidate for urban mining. It is important to tap this huge resource and bring it back to the economy. In reality, the stakeholders of e-waste business work in silos. It is quite relevant to bring them under one umbrella and look at things more in a systems approach. Partnership with the several units working as elements of an efficient supply chain will pave the path towards industrial symbiosis. Under the current investigation, the opportunities for establishing industrial symbiosis in case of e-waste recycling have been explored. A conceptual framework has been proposed based on literature survey and further analysis. Two realistic scenarios have been conceptualised—Presence of the companies in (a) two or three neighbouring zones and (b) scattered zone. A generalised discussion from the perspectives of sustainability has been provided to evaluate the two scenarios. It is expected to serve as prima facie for development of decision support systems in the future.


E-waste Industrial symbiosis Supply chain network Lifecycle Sustainability 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Aston UniversityBirminghamUK

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