A prototype model for surplus asset management and environmental impact of end-of-life electronic products



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Texas Tech University


Ecological and environmental issues are playing a larger role in corporate and manufacturing strategies. Global and domestic environmental regulations and laws are forcing many organizations to consider environmental impacts of all functions, business processes and products. The field of recycling is in constant motion. Although recycling has occurred in nature for billions of years, humans have only adopted recycling on a large scale in the last 30 years or so. The realization that the concept of "Unlimited" might be unfounded with respect to the generation of wastes and the inherent abilities of nature began to dawn in the late 1960. During this period, we were also discovering that toxins we had discarded into the land, air, and water are having harmful effects on the environment. A drastic change in the industry occurred in the late 1980s.

Recycling would, optimally, remove and recover reusable resources from the waste stream. Properly promoted, recycling and source reduction are expected to remove a large percentage of the materials that were being land filled. Greater concern with environmental issues has lead corporations to embrace environmentally benign and proactive practices, processes, products and technology. With increasing environmental regulations and waste management costs, ECDM (Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing) and recycling are becoming an attractive approach to solve environmental problems. It is hoped that ECDM and recycling related projects will propel the environmental consciousness in the 21st century. This project presents some issues relevant to environmentally conscious manufacturing practices and policies. Surplus asset management and environmental impact analysis will play an everincreasing role in the efficient operations of a large industrial supply system that can be defined as an industrial ecosystem.

The issues relevant to this area include global practices and pressures for surplus asset recovery, the needs and requirements for an infrastructure for recovering surplus assets, technology requirements and future research directions. A general strategic framework on how to manage surplus asset management programs and projects by recycling in a manufacturing enterprise is developed and discussed. A number of research initiatives for a specific product (a telephone) is identified and discussed. This thesis work addresses the product life cycle, recycling practices and environmental impact. Some of the issues that managers and researchers will find very effective through out the research with some supporting practical data that has been calculated through out this research work. The pursuit of these research initiatives will alleviate many of the barriers in adoption of recycling and environmentally conscious manufacturing strategies.