Date of Graduation

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Environmental Management

First Advisor

Thomas MacDonald

Abstract

The United States is one of the largest producers of electronic waste (e-waste), partly due to a lack of federal legislation to regulate e-waste disposal and transport. Increased collection, recycling, and reuse of electronics can reduce pollution from hazardous metals and chemicals found in e-waste, lower the carbon footprint of the electronics industry, and protect the health of workers in the global waste management sector. This paper examines case studies of e-waste management strategies in European Union member nations and US states, and identifies ways to integrate those strategies in US federal and state policy. This paper finds that extended producer responsibility (EPR) principles are found to improve e-waste collection and recycling rates, though reuse of electronics is often reduced. Public acceptance of e-waste management funding schemes are found to depend on consumers' involvement with environmental activities. Predicting the composition of future e-waste streams can increase recovery of valuable materials needed to manufacture new products. Lastly, policy recommendations are made to improve collection, recycling, and material recovery of e-waste in the US.

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