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Recycling, Volume 1, Issue 2 (September 2016) – 6 articles , Pages 219-310

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Article
What Institutional Dynamics Guide Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Refurbishment and Reuse in Urban China?
Recycling 2016, 1(2), 286-310; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling1020286 - 08 Sep 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4802
Abstract
For over two decades China has faced a veritable e-waste challenge due to the continuous increase in quantities of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) coming from foreign and domestic sources. Over more than a decade, the government’s response has been focussed on [...] Read more.
For over two decades China has faced a veritable e-waste challenge due to the continuous increase in quantities of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) coming from foreign and domestic sources. Over more than a decade, the government’s response has been focussed on developing large-scale recycling facilities so as to recover the valuable materials within WEEE. Simultaneously, China is home to a vast, informal segment, which engages in the collection, refurbishment, and processing (dismantling, extraction of components and materials) of obsolete electronics, thus directly competing with the formal system for devices and for the profits that they generate. The official discourse and most of the existing research concentrates primarily on WEEE recycling. However, project-based field research and interviews by the author in Beijing and Guangdong province have indicated that the repair, refurbishment, and reuse of discarded electronics are widespread and profitable practices of the informal domain. This paper aims to analyse the institutional, i.e., rule-based, mechanisms behind these activities and, via an institutional economics approach, to highlight how formal and informal rule-based practices structure WEEE refurbishment and reuse in China. The results show that informal activities are dominant due to the well-developed collection and transfer networks, the division of labour amongst informal actors, and the high responsiveness to market prices and consumer demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste to Resources: Legacy Value from E-Waste)
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Article
The Importance of Specific Recycling Information in Designing a Waste Management Scheme
Recycling 2016, 1(2), 271-285; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling1020271 - 07 Sep 2016
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 6362
Abstract
Recycling information can be complex and often confusing which may subsequently reduce the participations in any waste recycling schemes. As a result, this research explored the roles as well as the importance of a holistic approach in designing recycling information using 15 expert-based [...] Read more.
Recycling information can be complex and often confusing which may subsequently reduce the participations in any waste recycling schemes. As a result, this research explored the roles as well as the importance of a holistic approach in designing recycling information using 15 expert-based (in-depth) interviews. The rationale was to offer a better understanding of what constitutes waste, recycling, and how recycling information should be designed and presented to make recycling more attractive/convenient. Based on the research participants’ perceptions with supports from the existing studies, this research sub-categorised recycling information into three different themes, termed the “WWW” (what, when, and where) of recycling information components. As a result, these components (or attributes) were extensively described (using findings of semi-structured interviews) to elicit pragmatic guidance for practitioners, policy-makers, and other stakeholders in designing structured communication or information strategies that may simplify and subsequently increase waste recycling practices. The policy implications of holistic information in enhancing recycling are further discussed. Full article
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Article
A Tale of Two Cities: The Emergence of Urban Waste Systems in a Developed and a Developing City
Recycling 2016, 1(2), 254-270; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling1020254 - 29 Aug 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4053
Abstract
Developing cities have historically looked to developed cities as exemplary models for waste management systems and practices without considering the consequent resource requirements or the key characteristics of the local setting. However, direct adoption of developed cities’ approaches without proper consideration of the [...] Read more.
Developing cities have historically looked to developed cities as exemplary models for waste management systems and practices without considering the consequent resource requirements or the key characteristics of the local setting. However, direct adoption of developed cities’ approaches without proper consideration of the local circumstances may lead to unsustainable future waste management in developing cities. This study evaluates waste management in London and Kuala Lumpur, representing developed and developing cities, focusing on the integration of policy changes, socio-economic background and waste data trends on a multi-decadal scale. This analysis reveals the gradual implementation of initiatives, the challenges faced and the attempted solutions that were applied differently in both cities. Conceptual models of waste management status in different scenarios for both cities were developed. These models highlight that societal behaviour shifts from minimal waste generation (wasteless) to throw-away society (wasteful) and a drive to achieve sustainable waste behaviour with integration of resource recovery and waste minimization (wasting less). A detailed understanding of the evolution of waste management systems towards fulfilling public needs alongside rapid urbanization can provide new perspectives on future waste scenarios, especially in developing cities. Ultimately, reliable and accurate data are crucial to avoid inaccuracies in planning for future waste management. Full article
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Article
The EU Circular Economy and Its Relevance to Metal Recycling
Recycling 2016, 1(2), 242-253; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling1020242 - 27 Jul 2016
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 7126
Abstract
This paper provides an overview of ongoing European policy actions to improve the circular management of non-ferrous metals. After explaining why metals are at the center of the European Union’s circular economy initiative, the authors outline a number of issues that still need [...] Read more.
This paper provides an overview of ongoing European policy actions to improve the circular management of non-ferrous metals. After explaining why metals are at the center of the European Union’s circular economy initiative, the authors outline a number of issues that still need tackling to “close the loop”, and prevent Europe’s metals from being landfilled, incinerated, or exported without guarantee of high-quality treatment. Electronic waste is focused on in detail during this analysis, because of the special challenges in environmentally sound recovery of smaller quantities of valuable and precious metals. In particular, the authors find that a mandatory certification scheme for recyclers of electronic waste, in or out of Europe, would help to incentivize high-quality treatment processes and efficient material recovery. More generally, the article finds that the European Commission’s waste legislation proposals and Action Plan begins to address key challenges, provided the requirements are implemented strongly and consistently across Member States. In particular, it is crucial that EU policy establishes level playing field conditions for European metals recyclers Full article
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Article
Coal Mining Waste as a Future Eco-Efficient Supplementary Cementing Material: Scientific Aspects
Recycling 2016, 1(2), 232-241; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling1020232 - 16 Jul 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3803
Abstract
The stockpiling of tailings around coal mines poses a major environmental problem. Nonetheless, this clay mineral (kaolinite)-based waste can be reused as a supplementary cementitious material (recycled metakaolinite) in the manufacture of future eco-efficient cements. This paper explores the most significant scientific questions [...] Read more.
The stockpiling of tailings around coal mines poses a major environmental problem. Nonetheless, this clay mineral (kaolinite)-based waste can be reused as a supplementary cementitious material (recycled metakaolinite) in the manufacture of future eco-efficient cements. This paper explores the most significant scientific questions posed in connection with the conversion of this waste into pozzolans, such as the variation in product mineralogy depending on the sintering temperature and its effect on reaction kinetics in the pozzolan/Ca(OH)2 system over a period of 365 days. The findings show that the optimal sintering temperature is 600 °C, such that the cementitious properties of the activated product are determined solely by the conversion of kaolinite into metakaolinite and are unaffected by the other clay minerals (micas). The presence of 20% activated coal waste favors the formation of larger amounts of aluminous phases such as C4AH13 and C4AcH12 than in the reference paste and enhances C–S–H gel polymerization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mining Waste Management and Resource Recovery)
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Review
Charting Policy Directions for Mining’s Sustainability with Circular Economy
Recycling 2016, 1(2), 219-231; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling1020219 - 30 Jun 2016
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4392
Abstract
This paper discusses circular economy (CE) as an option to mitigate the environmental impacts of mining operations, and a framework based on the three dimensions of sustainability, the possible uses of mining wastes, the life cycle, and the systems approaches to determine the [...] Read more.
This paper discusses circular economy (CE) as an option to mitigate the environmental impacts of mining operations, and a framework based on the three dimensions of sustainability, the possible uses of mining wastes, the life cycle, and the systems approaches to determine the policies that will induce initiatives towards designing out wastes for a mining-based circular economy. Previous research has been reviewed to determine CE configuration and the basis for the framework to guide in the development of CE-related mining policies. The Chinese model of circular economy, noted for the introduction of industrial symbiosis through eco-industrial parks at the meso level, and public participation at the macro level, forms the basic structure of the framework aimed at curbing mining waste, and closing the loop in mining. Holistic research is important in taking proactive CE technology actions, strategic measures, and policies, which can use life cycle assessment (LCA) methods (environmental and social LCA and life cycle costing) and systems dynamic modeling. With systems dynamic modeling, the framework introduced in this work can be expanded to cover as many important aspects as possible, and can check for areas of policy resistance that have been the reason for most policy failures. Full article
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