Estimation of Future Generated Amount of E-Waste in the United States


Electrical and electronic equipment waste, or e-waste, is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the United States. The main objective of this study is to estimate the future quantities of e-waste of thirteen selected electric and electronic products in the United States in 2025. To estimate the future amount of e-waste, the authors performed a material flow analysis. The model inputs are historical and future product sales data and the product’s average life span. Sensitivity analysis was constructed to evaluate the effect of the model inputs (average life span and future sales data) in the generation of e-waste. The results show that about 1.0835 billion units will reach their end of life (EOL) in 2025; cell phone devices are the highest occurring product among the thirteen selected products and weighted for about 66.0% of units of the total amount, followed by computer products at 18.0%, TV products at 11.6%, computer monitors at 1.7%, hard copy peripherals (HCP) at 1.6%, and computer accessories at 1.0%. The sensitivity analysis shows that the product life span has an effect on the e-waste generation amounts from the products under study, while the sensitivity analysis of forecasted future sales indicates that the generated waste will increase or decrease according to the sales trend.

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Chang, S. , Assumaning, G. and Abdelwahab, Y. (2015) Estimation of Future Generated Amount of E-Waste in the United States. Journal of Environmental Protection, 6, 902-928. doi: 10.4236/jep.2015.68081.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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