A multiple objective decision making model for materials management of end-of-life electronic products

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Texas Tech University

Due to customers' demand for new technology, and their increasing consumption of electronics, more attention has been paid to the take-back and recycling of end-of-life (EOL) electronic equipment and computers, in particular. Disposal of electronic products in landfills is discouraged, due to the limitations of landfill space and the presence of leachable lead. In addition, electronic products also contain precious metals and plastics as well as ceramic and glass materials that may be reused if proper materials separation and recycling are provided. This research focuses on exploring a systematic approach to en\ironmental impact analysis and decision making in the end-of-life electronics takeback and recycling process. The objective of this research is to develop a theoretical scheme of multiobjective decision-making (MODM) for material management of end-of-life electronic products. The research results in a structured decision support system to help analysts and decision-makers think systematically about the selection of recycling scenario. Although a decision support system is an efficient tool that has been widely used in management areas, it still encounters some problems when it is implemented in the environmental decision making problem. Those problems include lack of sufficient and reliable data on environmental impact of end-of-life product treatment, material composition analysis, proper expression of users' aspiration levels, system architecture, and the proper multiple objective decision making methodology. The environmental oriented decision making system presented in this dissertation can solve those problems. The MODM method in this research is based on an interactive reference point method and fuzzy logic theory. The decision making model consists of four phases: quantifying, re-scaling, aggregation, and interactive decision making process. The prototype of the environmental decision support model is developed using Microsoft Visual Basic and Access.

Multiple criteria decision making, Materials management -- Environmental aspects, Recycling (Waste, etc.)