Within the response and recovery phases of the disaster management cycle, debris clean-up is a well-researched topic, around which numerous policies have been developed. However, the subcategory of electronic waste is an issue that is overlooked by existing studies. A theoretical case study of a flood of the Rhine river in Bonn, Germany is used to demonstrate that while electronic waste may be a small portion of the debris generated during a disaster (by volume), it can have disproportionately large health, economic, and environmental consequences if not effectively planned for and handled. A spatial analysis of a flooding disaster scenario in Bonn was conducted to estimate the quantity of electronic waste that could be generated from residential buildings. Further modeling was done to calculate the greenhouse gas savings, energy savings, and economic impacts that can be realized through proper recovery and recycling of the electronic waste created by the flood. One key finding is that while implementation may be difficult, ensuring that effective policy is in place prior to a disaster can enable this waste stream to be managed in a manner that mitigates negative impacts on the environment and human health and keeps valuable materials in circulation.
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