Tele-Inverse Manufacturing — An International E-Waste Recycling Proposal
Mitsutaka Matsumoto, Nozomu Mishima, and Shinsuke Kondoh
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
Tsukuba East, 1-2-1, Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8564, Japan
With increasing numbers of used electronics products (e-waste) being sent from developed to developing countries, questions arise on how to recycle e-waste sustainably while minimizing pollution, energy, and cost and maximizing material, part, and product life. We focus on two issues concerning projected e-waste recycling — the level at which recycling should be automated and the location of recycling itself. Among possible recycling scenarios, we propose tele-inverse manufacturing enabling advances in automation and remote recycling control. We hold that tele-inverse manufacturing is more technically feasible than fully automated recycling and more economically feasible than current recycling because it enables an international division of labor. It also reduces the closed loop of material, parts, and products compared to that of manually based international recycling.
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