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postgraduate thesis: Electronic waste: an evaluation on its environmental impacts and management practices

TitleElectronic waste: an evaluation on its environmental impacts and management practices
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Mak, K. [麥家昌]. (2012). Electronic waste : an evaluation on its environmental impacts and management practices. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4854336
AbstractEvery day a vast number of electrical and electronic equipments (EEE) end up as waste (e-waste); some of them would be scrapped, others were just obsolete. Without adequate infrastructure to manage e-waste, developing countries are suffering severe environmental impacts induced from e-waste which is either internally generated or imported illegally and facing huge challenges in managing it properly. This study aims at evaluating environmental impacts at prominent primitive e-waste recycling domains in China and proposing integrated approaches to its e-waste management. To explore the severity of environmental impacts due to primitive e-waste recycling, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were selected to be the contamination indicator in this study because of their high deployment in EEE as flame-retardants and high toxicity. The levels and distributions of PBDEs in air, soil, sediment, biota and human from the two most prominent informal e-waste processing domains in China, Guiyu and Taizhou, were evaluated and all resulted in several orders of magnitude higher than those international comparison values, suggesting a causal relationship between the release of PBDEs during e-waste recycling and the determined concentrations in environmental components, biota and humans. The findings clearly indicate an urgent need for better monitoring and control of the informal recycling sector in China. However, the distinct situations in China pose challenges in managing e-waste: (i) profitability of informal e-waste recycling; (ii) environmental undesirability of trial take-back scheme; (iii) lax governance and law enforcement; and (vi) problems of orphan waste and free riders. To address these challenges and effectively manage e-waste in China, a three-pronged practicable approach, consisting of global initiatives, regional initiatives, and voluntary private initiatives, is proposed.
DegreeMaster of Science in Environmental Management
SubjectElectronic waste - Environmental aspects - China.
Dept/ProgramEnvironmental Management

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorMak, Ka-cheong.-
dc.contributor.author麥家昌.-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationMak, K. [麥家昌]. (2012). Electronic waste : an evaluation on its environmental impacts and management practices. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4854336-
dc.description.abstractEvery day a vast number of electrical and electronic equipments (EEE) end up as waste (e-waste); some of them would be scrapped, others were just obsolete. Without adequate infrastructure to manage e-waste, developing countries are suffering severe environmental impacts induced from e-waste which is either internally generated or imported illegally and facing huge challenges in managing it properly. This study aims at evaluating environmental impacts at prominent primitive e-waste recycling domains in China and proposing integrated approaches to its e-waste management. To explore the severity of environmental impacts due to primitive e-waste recycling, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were selected to be the contamination indicator in this study because of their high deployment in EEE as flame-retardants and high toxicity. The levels and distributions of PBDEs in air, soil, sediment, biota and human from the two most prominent informal e-waste processing domains in China, Guiyu and Taizhou, were evaluated and all resulted in several orders of magnitude higher than those international comparison values, suggesting a causal relationship between the release of PBDEs during e-waste recycling and the determined concentrations in environmental components, biota and humans. The findings clearly indicate an urgent need for better monitoring and control of the informal recycling sector in China. However, the distinct situations in China pose challenges in managing e-waste: (i) profitability of informal e-waste recycling; (ii) environmental undesirability of trial take-back scheme; (iii) lax governance and law enforcement; and (vi) problems of orphan waste and free riders. To address these challenges and effectively manage e-waste in China, a three-pronged practicable approach, consisting of global initiatives, regional initiatives, and voluntary private initiatives, is proposed.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48543366-
dc.subject.lcshElectronic waste - Environmental aspects - China.-
dc.titleElectronic waste: an evaluation on its environmental impacts and management practices-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4854336-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Science in Environmental Management-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEnvironmental Management-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4854336-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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