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E waste management: a micro perspective

Student name: Ms Manika Malhotra
Guide: Dr Sukanya Das
Year of completion: 2017
Host Organisation: TERI University

Abstract: The world is battling with a wide range of environmental and ecological adversities, yet one of the minimal discussed issues is of the electronic waste, or e waste. It is rapidly turning into a worldwide emergency that should be concentrated upon. In order to subdue the negative impacts of e-waste in our general surroundings, it's essential to critically analyze and comprehend the ‘actual’ problem, the factors that are propelling such a crisis and the means by which we could bring an improvement in terms of various problems that have been emerging because of this issue.

In the present study in Delhi we used mixed method comprising of multi criteria analysis for stakeholders and conjoint analysis based on consumers’ preferences. The aim is to capture both the demand and supply side scenario .While the roles of Stakeholders like manufacturers and producers in solving such a problem or at least improving the current scenario has always been highlighted, we cannot deny that the participation of consumers is important and needs to be understood to ensure more effectiveness in terms of the initiatives and schemes already in place. Amongst all the consumers, households hold a peculiar place being the bulk consumers of e waste. Hence, the study examines the preference of stakeholders for suitable e waste management strategy along with locating factors which affect the recycling decision of households as consumers and their willingness to contribute both in physical and monetary terms towards ensuring improvement in the prevailing scenario.

The data was collected by the means of field survey, separately. The methodology used for eliciting the stakeholder’s perspectives is the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), which allows us to scrutinize our main objective in terms of different aspects or ‘criteria’ and help us locate the most preferred alternative. The results reveal of how organized recycling followed by the practice of refurbishing are most preferred by all the stakeholders. There are more interesting observations noticeable for the different aspects of environmental, policy issues (etc). The methodology that has been followed for examining the household’s perception is the contingent ranking method with a shift from a lot of studies where the prime focus is on the monetary values, this method allows us to elicit their preferences for various other attributes, a subset of which is a monetary aspect. This is done by designing of choice sets. Results helped us understand of how different attributes in particular and their interactions with other socio economic characteristics influenced an individual’s choice for a particular alternative and asses the marginal willingness to pay(MWTP) of the respondents in terms of different attributes.

Key words: E waste, Delhi, stakeholders, AHP, household, Contingent Ranking, attributes, choice set, MWTP.