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Evaluation of household flux of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in the city of São Paulo

Grant number: 08/05089-1
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2009 - October 31, 2011
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering
Principal Investigator:Wanda Maria Risso Günther
Grantee:Wanda Maria Risso Günther
Home Institution: Faculdade de Saúde Pública (FSP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) have been overall recognized as an emergent hazard due to increasing generated volumes, toxic components and inadequate disposal, which compromise environmental quality and human health.In Brazil, there is neither a reliable estimate of WEEE generation and destination nor specific legislation or public policy. Data are scarce, disperse and not regularly up-dated; there is no information about the types and quantities of equipments in use, patterns and rhythm of substitution, and consumers' attitudes regarding post consume destination. It is however known that the majority, mainly of household origin, is disposed in waste landfills. Some types of WEEE are recycled, in Brazil or in other countries.This research proposes a survey of household WEEE generation in the city of São Paulo, with a view to propose their adequate management integrated to the municipal solid wastes management system. This survey will make it possible to evaluate quantity of WEEE in use, average useful life of electrical and electronic equipments, population' habits (repair, donation, storage), disposal patterns, and WEEE destination; furthermore, it will allow qualitative and quantitative evaluation of generation and destination flux.The survey is based on a transversal study of the population basis by means of statistically representative domiciliary samples selected by a procedure of probabilistic sampling in conglomerates in three steps. A survey instrument will be developed and applied for the domiciliary survey by experienced interviewers. Data referring to - socio-economic variables; WEEE type, quantity and destination; habits and behaviour of the population; and household and family characteristics - will be digitalized (software EPIDATA) to build a database and statistically treated (software STATA 9.0). Descriptive analyses will be carried out as well as bi-variable and multi-variable analyses by means of logistic regression models to identify possible associations between the studied variables.The following results are to be achieved by means of this proposed research: development of a methodology to carry out characterization studies for other WEEE fluxes; data about generation, recovery, donation and disposal of WEEE, which will provide a base for recycling and final disposal estimates; calculation of generation indicators; present and future trends that will base public policies; comparison with other locals; identification of WEEE types that deserve more attention; development of PhD and MSC theses; and presentation of papers in renowned journals. (AU)