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Modeling the Costs and Environmental Benefits of Disposal Options for End-of-Life Electronic Equipment: The Case of Used Computer Monitors

Author

Listed:
  • Palmer, Karen

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Macauley, Molly

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Shih, Jhih-Shyang

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Cline, Sarah
  • Holsinger, Heather

Abstract

Managing the growing quantity of used electronic equipment poses challenges for waste management officials. In this paper, we focus on a large component of the electronic waste stream—computer monitors—and the disposal concerns associated with the lead embodied in cathode ray tubes (CRTs) used in most monitors. We develop a policy simulation model of consumers’ disposal options based on the costs of these options and their associated environmental impacts. For the stock of monitors disposed of in the United States in 1998, our preliminary findings suggest that bans on some disposal options would increase disposal costs from about $1 per monitor to between $3 and $20 per monitor. Policies to promote a modest amount of recycling of monitor parts, including lead, can be less expensive. In both cases, the costs of the policies exceed the value of the avoided health effects of CRT disposal.

Suggested Citation

  • Palmer, Karen & Macauley, Molly & Shih, Jhih-Shyang & Cline, Sarah & Holsinger, Heather, 2001. "Modeling the Costs and Environmental Benefits of Disposal Options for End-of-Life Electronic Equipment: The Case of Used Computer Monitors," Discussion Papers dp-01-27, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-01-27
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-01-27.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hamilton, Bruce W & Macauley, Molly K, 1999. "Heredity or Environment: Why Is Automobile Longevity Increasing?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 251-261, September.
    2. Karl Whelan, 2002. "Computers, Obsolescence, And Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 445-461, August.
    3. Palmer, Karen & Sigman, Hilary & Walls, Margaret, 1997. "The Cost of Reducing Municipal Solid Waste," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 128-150, June.
    4. Harrington, Winston & McConnell, Virginia & Alberini, Anna, 1998. "Fleet Turnover and Old Car Scrap Policies," Discussion Papers dp-98-23, Resources For the Future.
    5. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 674-680, November.
    6. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1992. "Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 117-131, Summer.
    7. Pizer, William, 1997. "Prices vs. Quantities Revisited: The Case of Climate Change," Discussion Papers dp-98-02, Resources For the Future.
    8. Parks, Richard W, 1977. "Determinants of Scrapping Rates for Postwar Vintage Automobiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1099-1115, July.
    9. Hilary A. Sigman, 1995. "A Comparison of Public Policies for Lead Recycling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 452-478, Autumn.
    10. Ley, Eduardo & Macauley, Molly K. & Salant, Stephen W., 2002. "Spatially and Intertemporally Efficient Waste Management: The Costs of Interstate Trade Restrictions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 188-218, March.
    11. Palmer, Karen & Walls, Margaret, 1997. "Optimal policies for solid waste disposal Taxes, subsidies, and standards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 193-205, August.
    12. Jenkins, Robin R. & Martinez, Salvador A. & Palmer, Karen & Podolsky, Michael J., 2003. "The determinants of household recycling: a material-specific analysis of recycling program features and unit pricing," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 294-318, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hilary Sigman, 2003. "Targeting Lead in Solid Waste," Departmental Working Papers 200308, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    end-of-life electronics; waste stream; cost-benefit analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • H8 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues

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