International Journal of Production Research vol:44 issue:6 pages:1125-1146
It is widely recognized that disassembly-based product End-of-Life strategies, such as component reuse or simple fraction material recycling, are environmentally beneficial. However, current disassembly costs hinder a widespread application of these strategies. This paper quantifies the disassembly time reductions required to achieve economic feasibility of systematic product disassembly. A modelling framework, based on linear programming, is used to investigate the effect of reducing the expected disassembly time and cost on the selection of the optimal End-of-Life strategy. The problem is optimized from an End-of-Life treatment facility point of view. All findings are based on the Belgian cost and price information captured in spring 2004. The linear programming model shows that for small products from the Waste of Electric and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) category disassembly-based End-of-Life strategies will hardly become optimal, while for medium-and large-sized products, this scenario can be made optimal if a substantial disassembly time reduction is achieved. Possible strategies to realize such reduction are briefly sketched.