A Data Envelopment Analysis Approach for Household Appliances and Automobile Recycling

A Data Envelopment Analysis Approach for Household Appliances and Automobile Recycling

Elif Kongar, Surendra M. Gupta
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-114-8.ch016
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Rapid technological developments are leading to a significant decrease in the demand for old technology products. As a result, old technology products are rushed to their end-of-lives (EOLs) even though they still function properly and have the ability to satisfy stated needs. It is therefore important to find environmentally and economically benign ways to handle this accumulating waste to regain the value added to such products and to reduce the environmental damage. However, EOL recovery options are not always economically justifiable due to the complexity and uncertainty involved in the process. To reduce these setbacks, it is crucial to perform an analysis prior to taking any action and rank the products according to the importance of their EOL processing outcomes. To this end, this chapter proposes a data envelopment analysis (DEA) algorithm to determine the technical efficiency of end-of-life processing of household appliances and automobiles depending on various tangible and intangible performance criteria.
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Advanced manufacturing technologies coupled with increased desire of customers to acquire the newest products have transformed highly technical products into time-sensitive items. With each technological enhancement, demand and need for old technology products diminish. As a result, such products are rushed to their end-of-lives (EOLs) even though they often function properly and are able to satisfy stated needs.

The severity of the problem increases as the advancement of countries increase, since the market for technological products tends to be larger in advanced nations. The population of a country is an additional factor that contributes to the size of the market, and hence the severity of the problems caused by EOL products. Thus, the United States, being one of the wealthiest nations in the world with its over 300 million residents, provides an appropriate environment for EOL product management case studies.

Automobiles are one of the most common products that are recycled in industry. The economics of their EOL processing operations has been well studied in the literature. Furthermore, in the United States, as reported by ARC, an average American family owns half a dozen major appliances (AHAM, 2007). For instance, 88.81 million households in the U.S. own at least one refrigerator and 18.19 million households own more than one refrigerator, corresponding to approximately 100% of the overall households in the United States with refrigerators (Table 1).

Table 1.
Appliances in U.S. households, selected years, 1980-2001*
Survey Year
Survey Category198019811982198419871990199319972001
Number of Households (millions)82838486919497101107
Air-Conditioners(percent of households)
Individual Room Units303130303029252523
Electric Appliances
Clothes Dryer474545465153575557
Clothes Washer747371737576777779
Computer, PersonalNANANANANA16233556
Evaporative Cooler4444343NA3
Fan, CeilingNANANANANANA546165
Fan, Whole HouseNANA889104NANA
Fan, Window or CeilingNANA2835465160NANA
Freezer, Separate383837373434353332
Oven, Microwave141721346179848386
Pump for Swimming Pool343NANA5556
Pump for Well WaterNANANANANA15131413
Range (stove-top burner)545453545758616060
Refrigerator (one)868786888684858583
Refrigerator (two or more)141313121415151517
Television Set (any type)98989898989999NANA
Television Set (b/w)51484643363120NANA
Television Set (color)828385889396989999
Waterbed HeatersNANANA1014151285
Gas Appliances
Clothes Dryer141615161516151617
Heater for Swimming Pool(s)(s)(s)111111
Outdoor Gas Grill991113202629NANA
Outdoor Gas Light22211111(s)
Range (stove-top burner)464647454342383939
Kerosene Appliance
Portable Heater(s)13665322

*Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-457, Residential Consumption Survey, for each year shown

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