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Sustainable product and material end-of-life management: an approach for evaluating alternatives

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2 Author(s)
Dickinson, D.A. ; Multi-Lifecycle Eng. Res. Center, New Jersey Inst. of Technol., Newark, NJ, USA ; Caudill, R.J.

Alternatives for management of products and materials at end-of-life include recovery of the product for re-use, recycling of the material content only, and responsible disposal. Choices are affected greatly by the mix of products, recovery technologies, and economics, and must be evaluated from the perspective of not only environmental impact but also sustainability. The Sustainability Target Method (STM) links the economic value of a product with its environmental impact to provide a practical business criterion for sustainability. Extension of the STM to the product end-of-life stage provides basic criteria for evaluating end-of-life options. The recovery effectiveness, η and improvement factor, F express the extent to which product recovery offsets total environmental impact and approaches sustainability. The method offers a solution to some practical LCA issues. Application is demonstrated for basic materials recovery.

Published in:

Electronics and the Environment, 2003. IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

19-22 May 2003