Shifting the burden of recycling

Apr 30, 2013

Over the past two decades governments around the world have been experimenting with a new strategy for managing waste. By making producers responsible for their products when they become wastes, policy makers seek to significantly increase the recycling—and recyclability—of computers, packaging, automobiles, and household hazardous wastes such as batteries, used oil motor, and leftover paint—and save money in the process.

This strategy, known as extended producer responsibility (EPR), is the subject of a new special feature in Yale University's Journal of Industrial Ecology. The special feature examines the use of EPR across diverse scales—from countries to provinces and states—and investigates work underway in the U.S., the , Canada, China, Brazil and the State of Washington.

"Since its conception in the early 1990s," says Sir Peter Crane, Dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, "extended producer responsibility has generated both intense enthusiasm and opposition. The analyses in this special feature bring a much needed rigor and sophistication to the understanding of this strategy."

Particular attention is paid to producer responsibility for e-waste including articles that:

  • Evaluate the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to improve e-waste processing,
  • Assess the adoption of EPR in developing countries,
  • Detail the functioning of a "producer responsibility organization" (PRO) that fulfills producer take-back obligations through collection and , and
  • Analyze the restructuring of EPR as "individual producer responsibility" (IPR) in order to enhance the incentives for more recyclable products.

Explore further: Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

More information: Articles in the special feature will be freely downloadable for a limited time at: jie.yale.edu/EPR

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Towards better recovery of waste resources

Jan 16, 2013

A considerable amount of valuable raw materials is lost in waste utilization and processing chains. It would be worth, for example, effecting better recovery of the valuable metals contained in electronic equipment. Research ...

Urban metabolism for the urban century

Jan 24, 2013

Like organisms, cities need energy, water, and nutrients, and they need to dispose of wastes and byproducts in ways that are viable and sustainable over the long run. This notion of "urban metabolism" is a model for looking ...

Electronic Waste Needs to Go Green

Nov 10, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Americans love their consumer electronics, but what happens to all the gadgets when their useful life is over? Despite being one of the largest generators of "e-waste" in the world, the U.S. has no federal ...

Recycling is not enough -- we need to consume less

Jun 15, 2007

Recycling rates have risen, and the UK is on schedule to meet EU targets, but the key to dealing with our escalating waste problem lies in changing our buying habits and our attitudes to consumption, according to the authors ...

Chinese rare earths producer suspends output

Oct 25, 2012

(AP)—China's biggest rare earths producer has suspended output in an effort to shore up slumping prices of the materials used by makers of mobile phones and other high-tech products.

Recommended for you

Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

8 hours ago

As a conscripted soldier during the Contra War of the 1980s, Esteban Ruiz used to flee from battles because he didn't want to have to kill anyone. But now, as the 47-year-old farmer prepares to fight for ...

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

Dec 20, 2014

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

New challenges for ocean acidification research

Dec 19, 2014

Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of "the other carbon dioxide ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.