Title: An exploratory study of Spanish households' WEEE disposal behaviour

Authors: Ester Gutiérrez; Belarmino Adenso-Díaz; Sebastián Lozano; Plácido Moreno

Addresses: Department of Industrial Management, ESI, Camino de los Descubrimientos, s/n, University of Seville, 41092, Sevilla, Spain. ' Escuela Politécnica Superior de Ingeniería, Universidad de Oviedo, 33204, Gijón, Spain ' Department of Industrial Management, ESI, Camino de los Descubrimientos, s/n, University of Seville, 41092, Sevilla, Spain. ' Department of Industrial Management, ESI, Camino de los Descubrimientos, s/n, University of Seville, 41092, Sevilla, Spain

Abstract: This paper presents the findings of an exploratory study based on a survey of 1,537 households in Spain. The questionnaire included 23 key questions regarding the number of appliances in use, previous appliances lifetimes, reasons for buying each new appliance and end-of-life handling of discarded appliances. The distribution of the households along a number of relevant factors was analysed and a prototypical household was identified. A non-parametric analysis of the duration of each type of appliance has also been carried out and it was found that television sets are the most durable of the appliances considered. Survival rates for irons fall more rapidly than for microwaves. Moreover, television sets are the most durable of the appliances considered. Replacement rates of personal computers rapidly increase after approximately six to eight years. Finally, a statistical analysis of the respondents motivations for recycling the appliances considered in this study was carried out.

Keywords: WEEE; EC directives; European Community; EU; European Union; electrical equipment; electronic equipment; electrical waste; electronic waste; waste collection; waste recovery; electrical goods; household appliances; appliance replacement; replacement reasons; recycling motivations; Spain; domestic appliances; recycling motivations; Spain; disposal behaviour; appliance lifetime; end-of-life handling; discarded appliances; non-parametric analysis; television sets; durability; survival rates; irons; microwave cookers; replacement rates; personal computers; society; systems science; environment; appliance longevity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2011.043214

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2011 Vol.3 No.4, pp.385 - 398

Available online: 20 Oct 2011 *

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