Assessment Framework and Material Flow Analysis of Material Recovery Facilities Within the U.S. to Track Consumer Electronics by Product Category
An assessment framework was developed to evaluate and characterize material recovery facilities within the U.S. that process e-waste. The framework consists of five key categories including, facility overview, operating model and process flows, product flows, collection methods, and facility resource use. The results were used to conduct a material flow analysis to develop a representative set of end-of-life pathways (e.g., reuse, refurbish, recycle) to better understand the flow of e-waste in the end-of-life management industry. The majority of products collected was from business sector collection routes. The largest number of products (by units) collected at 90% of facilities was mobile phones. It was also seen that most products went directly to recycling for material recovery and were not in the condition to be re-used or refurbished.