Sub-theme: 5.1 Technology Diffusion in developing countries DOES ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION FOSTER THE DIFFUSION OF COLLABORATIVE INNOVATIONS? A STUDY ON ELECTRONICS WASTE REGULATION ON BRAZILMarília Tunes Mazon- - Center for Information Technology Renato Archer, Brazil(firstname.lastname@example.org). Economist and Bachelor in International Relations.Adalberto Mantovani Martiniano de Azevedo- Center for Information Technology Renato Archer,Brazil (email@example.com). Public Administrator, Master in Science and TechnologyPolicy and Doctor in Science and Technology Policy.Newton Müller Pereira- Department of Science and Technology Policy, State University ofCampinas, Brazil (firstname.lastname@example.org). Professor at the Department of Science andTechnology Policy at State University of CampinasMarco Antonio Silveira- Center for Information Technology Renato Archer, Brazil(email@example.com). Electronic Engineer, Master in Electrical Engineering, Doctor inManagement Systems.Keywords: environmental regulation; collaborative innovation diffusion; electronics wastemanagement technologiesIntroductionThe disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) is a growing problem faced by contemporarysocieties. The spreading of electronics devices on almost all industrial and consumer goods,combined to the rapid obsolescence of these products, has been the cause of this seriousproblem intensification (Gregory et al, 2009). This kind of waste contains a variety oftoxic/hazardous substances, such as such as lead, mercury and cadmium. On the other hand,e-waste contains valuable substances, including precious metals (gold, silver, palladium andplatinum)and industrial metals (copper, aluminium, nickel, tin, zinc, iron, and others) (Tsydenovaand Bengtsson, 2009).It is reasonable to say that recycling e-waste is a requirement to protect the environment(preventing pollution and saving precious and scarce minerals) and an opportunity to createvalue. According to Manhart (2010) the price of metals widely used in electronics, such asindium, antimony, tin, copper, silver, cobalt, and gold rose between 91% and 368% on the 1period 2003-2007; the electronics industry consumption is an important factor on thesecommodities prices rise, having consumed 79% of the 2006 total world´s mining output ofindium, 50% of all antimony, 33% of all tin, 30% of all copper and silver, 19% of all cobalt and12% of all gold.1 The problem with the raise on the profitability of e-waste recycling is that it stimulates informalactivities which can cause harm to the environment and recyclers. This subject will beaddressed in more detail in section 2.2.
Aiming to solve the e-waste problem and profit with the recycling of e-waste, developedcountries have adopted environmental regulations aiming to control e-waste disposal,responsibilizing electronics producers for the end of life of their products. The more widelyknown example of this kind of regulation is the European Community Directive EC 2002/96 onWaste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), established in 2006. Chien and Shih (2007)interrelates WEEE Directives with the spread in the adoption of green supply chainmanagement practices by electronics producers, such as green manufacturing practices (greendesign, recycling and reuse) and green purchasing practices (control lists of environmentallyhazardous substances, profiles for raw materials free of hazardous substances, assessment ofsuppliers and auditing mechanisms).The WEEE Directive prioritizes the prevention on the generation of e-waste followed by reuse,recycling and other ways for recovering these wastes. The directive also recommends theimprovement on the environmental performance of all actors related to electronics productslifecycle, by providing incentives to the recovery and economic valorization of wastes. WEEEalso prescribes duty of electronics producers to inform to society about components andsubstances used in the electronics; to install and explore individual or collective e-wastecollection systems (including delivery points); to create systems for e-waste treatment using thebest practices to neutralize, valorize and recycle; to identify shared solutions together with othere-waste generators.More recently, developing countries are also taking actions aiming to create e-wasteregulations. In many cases, the adoption of some e-waste regulation requires the developmentof indigenous technology or the adoption of imported technologies, from countries that 2pioneered on the establishment of regulations. These include production technologies (suchas ecodesign), recycling technologies, reverse logistics management technologies and lyfecycle analysis methodologies. Nevertheless, most of developing countries do not control stateof the art technologies (specially in recycling).In Brazil, the National Policy for Solid Wastes is in force since 2010, and includes in itsobjectives to incentive the “adoption, development and improvement of environmentaltechnologies as a way to minimize environmental problems”. The Policy (detailed in section 3)adresses the problem of e-waste, but like other developing countries, there still no state of theart e-waste recycling plant operating in Brazil, and complex fractions of e-waste are sentabroad.The technological gap in recycling technology have to be filled if developing countries want tocomply in a autonomous manner with e-waste management and treatment standards posed byinternational regulations, that affects the competitiviness of national electronics industries. Inorder to do this, besides its regulatory functions, government agencies can use incentives2 It makes sense to say that developing countries “import regulations”, when adoptenvironmental regulations pioneerly adopted in developed countries (this also happens in aregional scale inside countries). It makes sense too to say that after importing regulations,these countries need to import technologies to comply with the new standards.
aimed to promote eco-innovations in national innovation systems. Some authors (Lehmann,Christensen and Johnson, 2010; Hermann, Riisgaard and Remmen, 2011) utilize the termsustainable innovation systems, based on the relationships industry-government-academysuggested by triple helix models, where government environmental regulation can put the triplehelix in motion, not only by regulatory approaches, but also by stimulating the development ofsustainable innovations. Despite the fact that the literature on sustainable innovation systems isfocused on developed countries, the authors mentioned considers that these models can beuseful for developing countries as well.This paper aims to check the applicability of the sustainable innovation system concept ondeveloping countries, verifying if them are suitable for such an approach, by means of acomparative and investigative study, exploring how environmental regulations related toelectronics e-waste mobilize heterogeneous networks (academy, private companies andgovernment) for the generation and diffusion of sustainable innovations (including managerial 3ones) designed for compliance with these regulations. A more detailed study, based onlegislation analysis and a survey of government, academy and companies actions is presentedfor the case of Brazil.The paper is composed of four sections, besides this introduction. The first section will be arevision of theoretical studies on sustainable regional innovation systems, highlighting theimportance of networks on developing regulatory schemes and technologies for compliance.The second section describe the regulation of e-waste and the arrangements that institutionscreate to comply with the regulation in developed and developing countries, explaining some ofthe key concepts and technologies related to e-waste regulations and technologies. TheBrazilian case is addressed in section 3, a survey on private companies, government andacademic institutions actions on e-waste management in Brazil. Section 4 presents theconclusions of the paper.1. Sustainable Innovation Systems: does regulation foster them?1.1. Sustainable Innovation SystemsIn order to achieve sustainable development objectives, collaborative networks betweengovernment, private companies and academic institutions have gained a strong momentum in 4recent times (Hemmati et al, 2002). This collaboration has delivered the development ofstandards and measurement tools for environmental regulations, as well as technologicalsolutions for institutions that need to comply with more strict environmental requirements.3 Other important mechanisms that can be used for compliance include Ecodesign/Design forEnvironment (Rose, 2000; Boks, 2006; Tingström e Karlsson, 2006) and new businessesmodels such as product-service systems (Umeda, Nonomura and Tomiyama, 2000; UNEP,2002; Mont and Tuker, 2006; Borchardt, Sellitto e Pereira, 2010). Due to the lack of space,these subjects will not be addressed in this paper, that will focus on recycling technologies.4 Hemmati et al (2002) report and briefly describe twenty cases of networks created in the1990s aiming to achieve sustainability goals.
Some authors (Lehmann, Christensen and Johnson, 2010; Hermann, Riisgaard, Remmen,2011) denominate these collaboration networks as Sustainable Innovation Systems, defined asfollows: A Sustainable Innovation System is constituted by human, natural and social elements and relationships, which interact in the production, diffusion and use of new and socially, environmentally, economically and institutionally useful knowledge that contributes to sustainable production and consumption patterns. (Lehmann, Christensen and Johnson, 2010: 14)These multi-stakeholder networks, considered by Lehmann (2008) a new form of governance, isdefined by Hemmati et al (2002) as a process: The term multi-stakeholder processes describes processes which aim to bring together all major stakeholders in a new form of communication, decision-finding (and possibly decision-making) on a particular issue. They are also based on recognition of the importance of achieving equity and accountability in communication between stakeholders, involving equitable representation of three or more stakeholder groups and their views (Hemmati et al, 2002: 2).Besides being normally of a local or regional nature, it is very common to multi-stakeholderarrangements to be promoted by international organizations, requiring “[…] contractualobligations and relations, as well as transfer of responsibility.” (Lehmann, Christensen andJohnson, 2010)In this new networked governance structure, either public and private sector organizations canplay a leadership role. Notwithstanding, academic institutions are very important in the creationof new environmental regulations that require scientific and technological work in testinglaboratories and in the development of more complex and risky technologies.According to Lehmann et al (2010), there are three kinds of partnerships in sustainableinnovation systems: a) collaborative projects; b) organizational learning systems; c) governancenetworks.Collaborative projects are those designed within a limited amount of time, and counting in a pre-defined number of partnership members. Organizational learning systems are those with asuperior level of compromise, since the partnership members have larger opportunities forimplemeting changes in their organizations than in isolated collaborative projects. Governancenetworks are related to more effective and immediate institutional changes that transform the“rules of the game”. Nevertheless, governance changes cannot occur without trust betweenpartnership members and the hard work of a variety of actors, developing acceptable new rulesand, most important, playing accordingly to these rules. Also, frequently new governancerequires new technological solutions to fulfill the new governance structure objectives andcompromises. To build sustainable innovation systems requires the introduction of and support for sustainable development at all levels (not only the level of the home region) as a responsibility and a political goal, and to support the establishment of new governance structures like public-private-academic partnerships with a sustainable agenda. (Lehmann, Christensen and Johnson, 2010: 15).
Charter and Clark (2007) consider indispensable to articulate connections between themembers of sustainable innovation systems, bridging together actors that contribute to moreeffective knowledge transfer, innovative actions (including technological and market activities)and knowledge about “real world” situations. Thus, it is recommended that the development ofeco-innovations be made together with efforts devoted to the creation of sustainable businessesmodels that pushes forward new technologies and explores new markets.The regulations on e-waste and arrangements for compliance described in the next item of thispaper suggest that it is desirable the participation of government, academic and privateinstitutions, as pointed out by the sustainable innovation systems model. The central point of thedescription is to verify if interactions between these actors really occur. In order to do this, it isnecessary to understand in a more detailed manner who are the main actors, theresponsibilities put by regulation, and the differences between countries in technological andinstitutional terms .On the private sector case, regulations embraces manufacturers, importers, exporters, retailers(brand new/second hand) and recycling factories. Indirectly related, other actors of importanceare distributors/vendors and services and logistic services.In the case of government, theresponsibility by the effectiveness of the regulation includes ministry institutions, certificationinstitutions an public facilities for collection and treatment of e-waste.Academic institutions important for e-waste management schemes include universities andresearch institutions that develop clean technologies, lyfe cycle analysis methods, ecodesigntechniques and technologies for desassembling, treating and recovering minerals from e-waste.It is worth to remember that most of e-waste regulations foresees the development of cleantechnologies as a necessary condition for e-waste management.The regulation and management of e-waste can be considered one situation where universitiesplay crucial roles as “knowledge hubs”. It is important to point out that there are different typesof connections between academy and society: universities and research institutes providesociety with high skilled workers to companies; on the other side, companies provide problemsand practical knowledge for universities. In these processes, both types of institutions havemediating roles on these interactions (Lehmann et al, 2005).Next session will describe some e-waste policies and regulatory schemes in different countries,investigating to what extent regulation puts in motion institutional articulations betweengovernment, academy and private companies.2. Regulations and technologies to solve the electronics waste problem: from centralcountries to the peripheryYang and Percival (2009) point out a tendency towards the internationalization of environmentalregulations, by means of international environmental agreements and by the strengthening ofnational environmental regulation all around the world.
Countries are transplanting law and regulatory policy innovations of others nations, even when they have very different legal and cultural traditions. Short of deliberate copying, many national regulatory initiatives also exhibit design and functional similarities that reveal a growing convergence around a few principal approaches to environmental regulation ( Yang and Percival, 2009: 616).Environmental standards considered acceptable are always generated in developed countries,them spreading to the rest of the world (Yang and Percival, 2009). Nevertheless, theconvergence and harmonization of environmental regulation happens in a world with profoundseconomic and technological differences between countries. As regulation become common, thetechnological gaps between developed and non developed nations increase the competitive 5assimetries between these two worlds, specially acute in the case of global production andcommerce chains, such as electronics.This convergence on environmental regulation combined to assimetric technology capabilities isexactly the case of e-waste regulations and technologies. Although e-waste related regulationsare spreading in a variety of developing countries (see section 2.2.), the same can not be saidabout e-waste recycling technologies. The gap in capabilities between developed nations anddeveloping ones is quite accentuated, specially on the recovering of some e-waste morevaluable metal fractions.Manhart (2010) classifies technologies of e-waste recycling processing in three types: 1. Low-tech, low yields, severe pollution type, that manually recovers easily accessible metals (steel,aluminium copper, etc.) by collection, burning or smelting, disposing valuable and hazardousmetals on workers and the environment; 2. mid-tech, medium yields, extreme pollution type, 6that allows the recovery of part (6% to 30%) of gold in e-waste by wet chemical leaching,causing severe human and environmental contamination by chemicals; 3. high-tech, high yields,low pollution type, installed in industrialized countries, combine mechanical and magnetic 7pretreatment and metallurgic refining processes, with a minimum of manual labour, inautomatized smelters, electrolytic reactors and refining processes to recover metals ( copper,gold, palladium, indium, antimony, tin, and silver) that can reach up to 95% of recovery. Allthese high-tech systems are equipped with state of the art air pollution controls and wastewatertreatment, using the plastic that remains in the copper fraction as fuel for the process.According to Manhart (2010), state of the art integrated smelters require investments aboveUS$ 1 billion, making evident the need for economies of scale in such units. According to theauthors, only a few plants of this kind exist in the world: Umicore (Belgium, a materialstechnology company), Aurubis (Germany, a copper company), Boliden (Sweden and Finland, a5 For a revision in the conceptions about the relationship between competitiveness andenvironmental regulation, see Jenkins (1998).6 According to Manhart (2010) this low yeld does not viabilize formal businesses, and is “boundto informal conditions”.7 The separation process, in large scale processes, requires cutting edge technologies. Santose Souza (2010) relate a technology for separation that utilizes magnetic microelectronicssensors or high speed camerass to identify material separated with pressurized air.
mining company), Xstrata (Canada, another mining company), and Dowa (Japan, a Group withmining and materials technologies companies).The processing of e-waste relies on metallurgical and chemical processes, executed by largescale facilities. As a process technology, it ususally requires a large scale of operations to beeconomically viable. Thus, capacity in scaling up processes and basic engineering activities arerequired. This capital and knowledge intensity of the recycling business is actually a barrier tothe growth of recycling systems in developing countries. As next sections will show, theprocessing activities in these countries are, in the worst of the cases, back yard operations; inthe best cases, operations of dismantling and extraction of easily obtainable metals, such asiron, aluminium and copper. Thus, it appears that the solution for developing countries is toexport non processable fractions to specialized and high yelds recovery units from abroad. Inthis line of though, Manhart (2010) porpose an “international division of labor” for globallysolving the e-waste problem: […] a market-based management concept for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) known as the “best-of-two-worlds” approach. The concept is based on the idea that recyclers in developing countries and emerging economies can cooperate with technologically advanced refineries in industrialized countries to facilitate efficient recovery of valuable metals, such as gold and palladium, from e- waste.[…] the best-of-two-worlds concept could yield significant improvements in terms of management of hazardous substances, resource efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, income generation, and investments into social and environmental standards (Manhart, 2010: 13).Bad news for the “best-of-two-worlds” approach advocates is that the viability of this e-wastemanagement business model is yet to be proved. Moreover, this approach fails to consider theincrease on technological dependence of developing countries, reproducing north-southtechnological subordination relationships. Neither it considers that the environmental andfinancial costs of exporting pre-processed e-waste could be prohibitive for developing nations,making ineffective the local regulation and unviable the compliance with international regulation.In this sense, the adoption (by indigenous development or international transfer) of smallerscale technologies seems to be the fair solution to the global e-waste problem. In order to clarifywhat kind of technology is feasible, prospective studies on technological solutions adopted bydeveloped countries (high tech and medium tech) are necessary to outline developing countriesstrategies.2.1. E-waste policies in developed countriesIn face of market internationalization tendencies, the regulatory scheme of the EuropeanCommunity have influenced, politically and economically, several other countries, cheafly bigelectronic exporters. The next paragraphs briefly describe some policies adopted in developedcountries, as well as the institutional arrangements set up to compliance and some reflectionson both.Magalini and Huisman (2007) point out some differences in national approaches forimplementation of the WEEE Directive in the European Union (EU). The creation of national
laws and the implementation of infrastructure for take-back and recycling systems were muchmore easy in countries wth previous regulations and infrastructure (Austria, Belgium, Denmark,Netherlands, Sweden and others). Countries with no experience on this type of regulation andno infrastructure (case of France, Italy, Cyprus and Malta) have had a greater difficulty onimplementing the WEEE directive. According to Tojo and Fischer (2011), EU countries with thebest performances on e-waste management had already well-established and effective e-waste 8collection systems handled by municipalities, as well as legislation o e-waste. 9These differences are attributed to assimetries on National States legislative requirements andto the lack of agreement from stakeholders on the definition of responsibilities, reinforced bylobbying activities by producers, retailers, municipalities, recyclers, consumers, among others.For instance, in some countries it is acceptable to charge consumers a visible fee to cover costsof e-waste management, but in many countries this is not allowed. The authors link thedifficulties in the management of e-waste to the variety of stakeholders involved, andt state thatthe definition of financial responsibility is only one of the commitments involved. Thus, theauthors propose a scheme of responsibilities, based on a societal point of view (Chart 1):Chart 1. Stakeholders and responsibilities on the e-waste operation chain Stakeholder ResponsibilityProducers To inance operations and to design products tath reduce disassembly time.End Users Drive old products to collection, avoid putting small appliances in the municipal solid wastes flow.Retailers Enable collection points, receive old equipment without requiring the consumer to buy a new one.Municipalities Enable collection points, avoiding picking by third parties.National Design compliance schemes to maximize collection and obtain scalegovernments economies. Provide framework addressing key responsibilities improves monitoring and control mechanisms.Source: Adapted from Magalini and Huisman (2007)In order to overcome political and technical difficulties related to WEEE implementation, since2009 a private association of 41 European institutions of e-waste collection and recovery, calledWEEEForum, has been working on the development and diffusion of best practices for thissegment, including the creation of standards (WEEEForum, 2011). For instance, the 10WEEELabex standardizes all e-waste operations chain: collection (take-back, handling,sorting, storage, and set up for transport), logistics (handling, sorting, storage and transport)and treatment (preparing for re-use, handling, sorting, storage and treatment of hazardous andnon hazardous fractions) (WEEEForum, 2011a; WEEEForum, 2011b; WEEEForum, 2011c).The overall objective is to improve efficiency on all e-waste operations chains, reduceenvironmental and human health damage, prevent illegal cross boundary transfers of e-waste,8 For instance, the e-waste scheme in Netherlands, created in 1998, increased the e-wastecollection from 2.26 kg per inhabitant in 1999 to 4.69 kg in 2002 (OECD, 2006).9 According to Tojo and Fischer (2011), the WEEE Directive leaves a good degree of freedomfor each member State to determine attributions such as responsibility of collection andfinancing, leading to diverse solutions combining producers, distributors and municipalities.10 It is required for WEEEForum members to comply with these standards by 2013 (oldestmembers) and 2014 (more new members).
increase quantity and quality of e-waste recovered and promote fair competition between e-waste operators.According to Tojo and Fischer (2011), most of EU countries recycle in a high rate largehousehold appliances, consumer equipment and ICT equipment, with 11 countries with acollection rate bigger than 30%. However, for products such as lighting equipment, toys,monitoring and control instruments and tools, 14 countries achieve less than 10%. All countriesthat achieved more than 50% collection rate (Sweden, Norway and Luxembourg) engagedmunicipalities in e-waste management, and had previous regulations on e-waste.The collection systems in developed countries are of two main types: collective systems, usuallydirected by Third Part Organizations (TPOs) set up by industry; competitive clearing housesystems, directed by a central national coordination body that determines the collectionobligation of each producer. This second type of arrangement incentives more efficient systemsof collection, and stimulates more strongly the innovation developed by private companies. Alsoit is common take-back systems, where retailers take old products when consumers buy newproducts, being responsible by its final destination. Funding of the systems vary, and are mainlya combination of consumers fees, subscribing contribution of member of the industry to TPOsand contributions of electronics producers.The institutions involved on e-waste management systems in developed countries are generallyformally stablished and supported in multi-institutional schemes that addresses the attribution ofresponsibilities and funding mechanisms, including academic institutions that generatetechnology. In these countries, formalized recycling institutions use advanced processtechnologies that minimize environmental and occupational risks of this activity, maximizingresults. This situation is quite different in developing countries that are implementing e-wastecontrols systems nowadays, as will be shown in section 2.2.Next sub-sections wiil briefly show the e-waste management situation in some developedcountries with cases found on literature, describing regulations and institutional arrangementsset up for compliance.2.1.1. SwissThree e-waste management systems exist since 1992: the Swiss Foundation for WasteManagement (SENS), the recycling section of the Swiss Association for Information,Communication and Organization Technology (SWICO Recycling) and the Swiss LightingRecycling Foundation (SLRS). The Residues Management Foundation set up rules forproducers and importers. A Recycling Fee is charged on consumers (Franco, 2008; Wäger,Hischier and Eugster, 2011).2.1.2. NetherlandsThe White and Brown Goods Decree, launched in 1998, created the extended producerresponsibility for electronics. Retailers take back used electronics in exchange for new ones,producers take used products from retailers and provide transportation and recycling.
Municipalities command collection. Visible fees charged on consumers, who pay a take backdeposit when purchase new products; for computers equipment, costs are paid byproducers/importers that partially fund recycling companies (OECD, 2006; Rose, 2000).2.1.3. Belgium 11In 2001 the Third Part Organization (TPO) Recupel was organized by electronicsproducers/importers, with support of municipalities in the organization of collection.Producers/importers can choose either to joint Recupel (for which payment of administrativefees is required) or set up individual e-waste management plans, submitted to governmentapproval. Fees are charged on consumers. Producers, importers and municipalities fund e-waste storage (Franco, 2008; Gregory et al, 2009).2.1.4. FranceRetailers collect e-waste exchanged when new products are sold, send e-waste to municipaldisposal facilities or donate it to non-profit organizations. Four TPOs created by producers,approved by government and coordinated by a joint subsidiary manage e-waste operations.Recycling is made by suppliers selected by the TPOs. The system is funded by fees charged onconsumers and producers payments for subscription on TPOs (160 million Euros generated tothe organizations in 2007) (Gregory et al, 2009).2.1.5. GermanyIntroduction of new electronicss in the market requires register with the Federal EnvironmentAgency, that controls the system with a council of multi-sector representatives. Producersprovides containers for collection, organize transport, inform consumer and report data on e-waste to authorities. Users of non-household e-waste are required to arrange solutions incooperation with producers. Producers fees are charged on producers for new electronicsregister and fees are charged on non-household appliances consumers (Gregory et al, 2009)2.1.6. ItalyMunicipalities maintain permanent drop-off facilities, and retailers collect used electronics whensell new ones. Fourteen TPOs and national associations of recyclers authorized by publicauthorities are responsible by collection and recycling of e-waste. TPOs are responsible forcreating self-financing mechanisms (Gregory et al, 2009).2.1.7. IrelandMunicipalities maintain facilities for discharge. Producers and retailers take old electronics whensell new ones, and are responsible by collection in disposal points. The system is managed by aTPO that reports to the Environmental Protection Agency, two associations address collection,11 A third party organization (TPO), provides the management and administration of a recyclingprogramme for its members (Gregory et al, 2009). Examples of third party organizations set upby producers to solve the e-waste problem are SWICO y S.EN.S (Swiss), Elretur (Norway), El-Kretsen (Sweden) and NVMP (Netherlands) (Ott, 2008).
treatment and recycling. Provision for inclusion of Environmental Management Cost charged onconsumers funds the scheme (Gregory et al, 2009)2.1.8. SpainCollection points and recycling facilities are managed by Ecolec Foundation, a TPO organizedby producers and importers of electronics (Franco, 2008).2.1.9. Korea 12Extended Producer Responsibility legislation was introduced in 2003, and made mandatorytake-back and recycling schemes set by the government. Producers pay a fee to join aproducers responsibility organization in charge of the management of the take back andrecycling system (OECD, 2006).2.1.10 United States 13States and municipalities play a key role in e-waste recycling initiatives. 23 States have theirown e-waste laws. The first regulations on e-waste were bans of CRTs (Cathode-Ray Tubes)disposal on landfills, first in Minessota, in 2000. In 2003, California Electronics Waste RecyclingAct determined that by 2010 producers collect 90% of the equipment they sell, or pay analternative fee. Federal Laws on e-waste are a Decree on electronics recycling (2003) and theElectronic Equipment Collection Law (2008). Producers submit a plan for waste management tomunicipal authorities and have take-back obligations. Recycling fees from consumers fundscheme (Kang and Schoenung, 2005; Gregory et al, 2009; Bernard, 2010)2.1.11. Japan 14In 1998, the Electrical Household Appliance Recycling Law made consumers responsible fordisposal of e-waste, government responsible for creating a system of collection and reverselogistics and producers responsible for recycling and neutralizing toxic substances on products(Tsydenova and Bengtsson, 2009).2.2. Electronics Waste Regulations in developing countriesFirstly, as stated before, it is important to point out that the recycling technologies used indeveloping countries are well behind the state of the art predominating in developed countries: “WEEE recycling sector in developing countries is largely unregulated and WEEE is often processed to recover valuable materials in small workshops using rudimentary recycling methods […] where there is no real control over the materials processed, the processes used, or the emissions and discharges [...] The primary goal of such recycling operations is the recovery of valuable materials, and the goal is pursued with12 Legislation caused an increase on recycling in Korea. In 2002, about 30,000 personalcomputers were collected and recycled in Korea; by 2003, this number rose to 250,000. Also,there have been some changes in products design, such as reduction on weight and materialcontent on TVs and ron the number of circuits in hard disk drives (OECD, 2006).13 The regulations of each State can be checked athttp://www.electronicsrecycling.org/public/ContentPage.aspx?pageid=14.14 The Electrical Household Appliance Recycling Law regulated four types of products: TV sets,refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners (Tsydenova and Bengtsson, 2009).
little regard for the environment or human health. The common method to recover valuables and solder from PCBs is by heating PCBs until the connecting solder is melted […] undoubtedly exposes the worker to fumes of metals, particularly those in solder (often lead and tin), and other hazardous substances that can be potentially released during such treatment .”(Tsydenova and Bengtsson, 2009: 30).Besides environmental and workers damages, developing countries recycling systems of e-waste are often economically inefficient. Rochat, Rodrigues and Gantenbein (2008) report thatin India low technology leaching processes recover only 20% of the gold from a printed wiringboard; modern integrated smelters and metals refineries in developed countries can recover atleast 95% of 17 precious metals.According to Tsydenova and Bengtsson (2009) the recycling steps commonly used indeveloping countries are: 1.disassembly (usually manual); 2.mechanical and metallurgicalprocessing to prepare materials; 3.refining/purification by means of chemical and metallurgical 15processes, mainly pyrometallurgical. Occupational and environmental risks and hazards ofthese processes, as well as its technical solutions, are shortly described in Chart 2.Chart 2. E-waste treatment processes: environmental and occupational risks and hazardsProcess Risk/Hazards and Technological solutionsDisassembly Accidental releases of substances, Send mercury-containing components residues in downstream processes: to mercury recover facilities or waste mercury in light sources components; incinerator with gas cleaning systems. short circuits handling batteries; waste Avoid large inventories of batteries; 16 of nickel-cadmium batteries; use environmental sound facilities for implosion of Chatode Ray Tubes pyrometallurgical recovery of nickel (CRTs); inhalation of phosphor/barium and cadmium in batteries; wet oxide dusts/glass particles on processes to remove phosphors on dismantling CRTs ; mercury on Liquid CRTs; use of glass fraction to produce Crystal Displays (LCDs); mercury in new leaded glass or recovery lead; printed circuit boards; hazardous adaptation on plastics shredders dusts/fumes on plastics combustion. designs, gas cleaning on plastic thermal treatments.Mechanical Dusts on shredding/grinding processes New shredder/grinder designs,Processing with high concentrations of processes ventilation systems, brominated/organophosphated personal protective clothing for compounds workers, dust containing systems.Metallurgical Hydrometallurgical processes Integrated metal smelters designedprocesses consumes water, generates waste with off-gas treatment systems and water with acids and solvents and acid waste water treatment systems. fumes; pyrometallurgical processes generate waste gaseous emissions.Landfilling of Leaching/evaporation of hazardous Lining, leachate and gas collectione-waste substances (heavy metals, systems. brominated/organophosphated compounds) to the air, soil, groundwater and surface water.Source: Adapted from Magalini and Huisman (2007)15 The incineration of WEEE plastics for pre-treatment is no longer an option in EU, since WEEEDirective set quotas ranging from 50 to 75% for recycling and 70 to 80% for recovery, notachievable without including plastics (Tsydenova and Bengtsson, 2009).16 In some countries NiMH and Li-ion batteries are considered suitable for disposal in municipalwaste, but nickel and cobalt can be recovered through metal-specific smelting. For Li-ionrecovery, there are no feasible technologies available (Tsydenova and Bengtsson, 2009).
Laissaoui and Rochat (2008) describe some environmentally hazardous practices such asopen-air burning of cables, printed circuit boards and other electric wires (aiming to recovercopper and aluminium). This produces dioxins and furans, organic pollutants with highcarcinogenic potential. Moreover, wet chemical processes for extracting gold, silver andpalladium with use of acids, mercury and/or cyanide salts, produce large amounts of chemicaleffluents.Generally, the developing countries have an informal and low-technology recycling sector (mostfor recycling plastics and easily recoverable metals), and no specific e-waste legislation.Nonetheless, these country have general environmental regulation that can be addressed forthe e-waste problem. It is worth to remember that many developing countries have problemswith e-waste that comes illegally from abroad.Multilateral International Organizations play an important role in developing countries, especiallywith the provision of methodologies of assessment/evaluation developed by research centers,support for regulation establishment (with a strong participation of national governmentinstitutions, national and multinational companies and Non Government Organizations).However, technology transfer from developed to developing countries has not been found onliterature, and it is common to developing countries companies in the recycling business toexport components not easy to recycle, such as Printed Circuit Boards and lead rich-glass, tobe processed in facilities of developed countries.Regardless the technical problems of their recycling infrastructure, developing countries startedtaking actions aiming to solve local problems of e-waste generation, setting up studies todevelop national regulations that attribute responsibilities and establish funding mechanisms.Next subsections will briefly describe some developing countries actions found on literature.2.2.1. ChinaChina National Development and Reform Commission issued in 2001 the “Ordinance on theManagement of Waste Household Electrical and Electronic Products Recycling and Disposal”,base for the “Administrative Measures for the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollutionby Electronic Waste” in force since 2008. This legislation determines thatproducers/importers/retailers establish a recovery system, record down the type, weight orquantity of the e-waste and perform tests in laboratories authorized by Chinese Government.China is a common destination (together with India and Pakistan) of electronic waste generatedin Asia, processed in workshops that use rudimentary technologies. Nonetheless, China hasseveral facilities for recycling under construction, and two in operation. There is a project by the 17STeP initiative to introduce modern technology for sorting crushed e-waste materials (sort byconductivity or density difference) (State Environmental Protection Administration, n.d.; Liu,Tanaka e Mitsui, 2006; Wang, 2008; Tsydenova and Bengtsson, 2009).17 The STeP (Solving the e-waste Problem) is an United Nations Organization initiative thataims to form a network of producers, governments and researcher to develop projects in thefields of policy and legislation, redesign, reuse, recycling and capacity building (Wang, 2008).
2.2.2. UgandaUganda has no specific regulation for e-waste. Since 2006 develops project to transfer PCs toSmall and Medium Enterprises in Uganda, support the establishment of a local e-wasterecovery facility, a partnership between United Nations Organization (ONU), Microsoft, SwissInstitute of Material Sciences and Technology (EMPA) and Uganda Cleaner Production Centre(Schluep et al, 2008).2.2.3. SenegalSenegal has no specific regulation for e-waste. Since 2008 develops Project of assessment ofthe e-waste situation in Senegal, a partnership between the Global Digital Solidarity Fund(GDSF), EMPA and the African Institute for Urban Management (Wone et al, 2008).2.2.3. South AfricaSouth Africa has no specific regulation for e-waste. Since 2005 develops the Projects“Knowledge partnerships in e-waste recycling” and “Green e-Waste Channel”, a partnershipbetween EMPA, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and South Africa Government, fordevelopment of pilot e-waste management systems (Zumbuehl, 2006).2.2.4. MoroccoMorocco has no specific regulation for e-waste. Since 2007 is partner in a project ofassessment of e-waste management situation in Kenya, Morocco and Senegal. Partners in theproject include Hewlett Packard, GDSF, EMPA, Moroccan Cleaner Production Center andMorocco Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment (Laissaoui and Rochat, 2008).2.2.5. TanzaniaTanzania has no specific regulation for e-waste. Cleaner Production Centre of Tanzania incollaboration with EMPA and Microsoft conducted an assessment of Tanzania´s e-wastesituation and proposed actions to mobilize stakeholders (Magashi and Schluep, 2011).2.2.6. PeruPeru has no specific regulation for e-waste. In 2007 started an assessment of e-waste situationin the country, in partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Development Promotion, SwissNational Economy Secretariat, EMPA, Peru National Council for Environment, Peru GeneralDirection for Environmental Health, Swiss Institute of Material Sciences and Technology(Espinoza et al, 2008).2.2.7. ColombiaColombia has no specific regulation for e-waste A partnership between EMPA, ColombianSecretariat for economic Affairs, the Colombian Chamber for Informatics andTelecommunications, the Ministry of Environment, The Andes University and NGOs isaddressing the e-waste management situation in Colombia (Ott, 2008)3. Electronic Waste policies in Brazil
In the Brazilian case, the legislation on e-waste is based on the National Policy on Solid Waste,launched in 2010. This policy addresses in a comprehensive way the problems related to themanagement of all solid wastes, and is guided by the principle of shared responsibility. Thismakes Brazilian policy quite different from the European Union policy, which follows theprinciple of producer responsibility. Notwithstanding, both policies present very close objectives,such as the hierarchy of priorities (first, non-generation of residues, followed by reduction,reuse, recycling, treatment and final disposal environmentally correct). It is also common theprovision of incentives for research and development in the field of clean technologies.Regarding technological development, the Brazilian National Policy on Solid Wasteforesees:1.the provision of funding from the National Fund for Environment and the NationalFund for Scientific and Technological Development; 2. technical and financial cooperationbetween public and private sectors to develop new products, methods, processes andmanagement technologies for recycling, reusing and treating solid wastes.The situation of e-waste Research and Development (R&D) on academic Institutions has been 18outlined with data gathered with datamining techniques in R&D databases of Brazilian scienceand technology institutions. The results show that R&D on the field of e-waste management andtechnology in Brazil is a very incipient one. Even tough 141 research groups in fields such asrecycling, ecodesign and lyfe cycle analysis have been localized, most of them do not directlyadress the e-waste problem. Out of these 141 research groups, 44 maintain some relationshipwith private and government companies, and develop actions chiefly in the sectors ofagribusiness and civil construction.12 research projects funded by the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Developmenthave been found, but none of them relates to e-waste management. The projects are focused inecodesign, life cycle analysis and packaging recycling, most on plastics packaging. Thepartnerships with companies and government include two siderurgic companies, one chemicalcompany and one government food science research institute.Among Brazil’s government initiatives, it is worth mentioning the so-called “sustainable publicpurchases.” The program in force, called “Program for Sustainable Public Contracts”, promotedin 2011 around US$ 12 million in sustainable public acquisitions, a small fraction (0,07%) of thetotal amount of public purchases (Sciaretta and Rolli, 2012). The program has a catalog with548 “green products” that can be acquired by the public sector. A proposal of a presidentialdecree has been prepared for discussion on the Rio +20 Conference, prioritizing green productsin public purchases. The Decree prioritizes, in a first stage, office supplies (daily use items suchas hole punches, binders, staplers, writing utensils and paper). The second stage prioritizes theacquisition of green electronics, with low energy consumption and free of toxic substances.18 The databases surveyed were: 1. Research Groups on the Directory of the National Councilfor Scientific and Technological Development; 2. Research projects funded by the NationalFund for Scientific and Technological Development.
On the regional level, for instance, in the State of Minas Gerais, the State Natural EnvironmentFoundation conducted a diagnostic study of e-waste generation (Rocha et al, 2009). The study,developed in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the SwissInstitute of Material Sciences and Technology, aimed at providing information to the elaborationof legislation and public policies. The authors concluded that the State of Minas Gerais need todevelop policies with effective participation of electric and electronic equipment producers,importers, distributors, consumers, public cleaning systems, recyclable waste collectors,collecting companies, private transport companies, reconditioning centers (that restore the 19functions of old equipment), recyclable waste collectors, intermediary scrap metal collectors,technical assistance agencies, and Municipal Halls.The National Council for Environment stablished in 2011 a Resolution that makes mandatory toretailers to collect used batteries and send it to batteries producers, that are in turn responsiblefor its recycling or appropriate disposal (Folha Online, 2008). The Resolution also sets permittedamounts of lead, cadmium and Mercury in batteries.Some private companies in Brazil that make the collection and treatment of e-waste have been 20surveyed by Silva, Oliveira e Martins (2007). The company GM&C Logistics, that providesreverse logistics services such as traceability systems, disassembles used products, crushessorted material with specific equipment and send it to recycling partners authorized byenvironmental government institutions (GM&C Logistics, 2012). The company receiveselectronics equipment from producers (around 500 tons per year), sending complexcomponents to be processed abroad, in Umicore (Belgium) and Noranda (Canada) (Silva,Oliveira e Martins, 2007).The chemical company Suzaquim is another recycler that receives equipment from producersand other private companies (Silva, Oliveira e Martins, 2007). The company receives 5 to 8 tonsof equipment per month, and separates materials and metal oxides from CRTs, crushing andextracting metal of electronics boards by chemical processes, obtaining metals salts and metaloxides sold to chemical and materials industries.The Cingapure company Cimélia Recycling has a subsidiary in Brazil, responsible by thecollection and crushing of e-waste on the country, that is sent to a facilitie in Cingapure that canextyract 16 different metals (Silva, Oliveira e Martins, 2007). The subsidiary in Brazil receivese-waste from big electronics producers, receiving 150 to 200 tons per month.The situation in Brazil shows that some initial measures have been taken by government onregulation, but generated a weak response of private and academic actors. It can be said that acoordinated action, with participation of government, academy and industry is required to19 The Computers for Inclusion Project of Brazil’s Federal Government (Project CI), a nationalnetwork for the reuse of informatics equipment, professional formation, and digital inclusion, isan initiative to stimulate this form of reuse (Rocha et al, 2009).20 Some Brazilian companies as PLANAC11 are specialized in refurbishment processes forinformatics equipment, that are sold as used equipment (Silva, Oliveira e Martins, 2007).
develop facilities able to recycle complex fractions of e-waste, nowadays processed in countriesfrom abroad, most develop ones. Such coordinated action could be implementend by a strongtechnological program on e-waste recycling, with the launching of public calls for cooperativegovernment-industry-academy innovation projects, thus creating an adittional stimulus for thejoint development by industry and academy of technological solutions to comply with e-wasteregulations.4. ConclusionsThe regulation e-waste material is, worldwide, still in process. Differences on regulations can beobserved comparing countries with assimetric economic situation. Developed and developingcountries have different levels on technology development and legislation about e-wastes, butinternational regulation affects the competitiveness of their electronics industry equally. Thegreat question, as put by Magalini and Huisman (2007), is “[…] how to organize take-back andrecycling in order to align all stakeholder interests and positions in a practical way?”There are three main kinds of partnerships for the construction of sustainable innovationsystems: a) collaborative projects; b) organizational learning systems; c) governance networks.In developed countries, the partnerships established for sustainable innovation systemsformation are mainly networks with descentralized controls (runned by industry´s third partassociations), that makes feasible immediate institutional changes.In developing countries, there is an incipient effort aiming to the promotion of sustainableinnovation systems for e-waste management, mainly in cooperative projects that are recentlyestablished and count on a reduced number of members that operate at a lower technologicallevel, with strong support of international organisms and research institutions. Notwithstanding,most of the collaborattions identified in literature did not aimed at the transfer of advancedrecycling technologies, and were limited to the support in assessment studies and, in the caseof China, transfer of technologies for collection/sorting of e-waste. In this sense, thecooperations localized in this paper serve only to maintain the subordinated technologicalposition of developing countries in the recycling chain, making viability of e-waste managementdifficult on these developing nations. In order to identify recycling technologies with highertechnology content viable for adoption in developing countries, an prospective study on e-wasterecycling technologies is desirable.In developed countries, the mastering of state of the art technologies, mainly in the field ofmettalurgy and chemistry of large scale processes done by mining companies, assures theinterchange between academic institutions the industry to find solutions for compliance. On theother side, developing countries carry out a lot of non coordinated and isolated efforts.In Brazil, e-waste regulation is in its infancy, and so are the technological and managementinfrastructure, as shown in section 3. The companies of e-waste recycling carry on activities oflower technological content, and rely on facilities from abroad to carry on more complexrecycling activities. It can be concluded that innovation programs (including, for instance, public
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