Electrical and electronic waste management in China: Progress and the barriers to overcome

Xianbing Liu, Masaru Tanaka, Yasuhiro Matsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Citations (Scopus)


Serious adverse impacts on the environment and human health from e-waste recycling have occurred in the past and continue to occur in China today, due to a lack of national management strategies. China has made great efforts to face the challenges of the approaching peak increase in the domestic generation of e-waste and the illegal shipment of e-waste from other countries. This study examined recent progress and analysed the main problems associated with this issue in China. It was found that the material and the financial flows of e-waste in China had their own specific characteristics. Nearly 60% of the generated e-wastes were sold to private individual collectors and passed into informal recycling processes. More than 90% of Chinese citizens are reluctant to pay for the recycling of their e-waste. This is due to their traditional understanding that there remained value in these end-of-life products. Regulations concerning e-waste in China have been drafted but their deficiencies are obvious. The extended producer responsibilities (EPR) have been introduced but are not well defined. Eight formal facilities have been planned and are under construction or are in operation along the eastern coast of China but it will be difficult for them to compete with the informal processes for the reasons identified during the study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-101
Number of pages10
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


  • Barrier
  • China
  • E-waste management
  • Progress
  • Wmr 917-3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution


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