Master's student: Rakel Dís Ingólfsdóttir
Title: A system dynamics perspective on WEEE recycling opportunities in Iceland
Faculty: Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science
Advisors: Harald Ulrik Sverdrup, Professor and Anna Hulda Ólafsdóttir, Assistant Professor, both at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science
Examiner: Helgi Þór Ingason, Professor at Reykjavik University
This thesis investigates the possibility of recycling Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in Iceland. The purpose is to weigh if the decision to recycle is viable financially and to provide possible policy interventions to increase the likelihood of the endeavor being successful. The methods of systems analysis were applied to construct a conceptual model identifying the key factors in a system following electric and electronic equipment from import, through the equipment’s lifecycle and finally into collection, wherefrom said recycling is conceptualized. From the conceptual model a scientific model is formulated and run in the modelling software STELLA Architect® to quantify the impacts of the dynamics of the system and policy implementation. The model forecasts collection of electric and electronic equipment and the possible income and costs of recycling locally. Four scenarios are modelled: An initial scenario where WEEE is collected in Iceland and recycled locally, a policy intervention where monetary compensation is offered for bringing in WEEE for recycling, a policy intervention where WEEE is imported from Norway and finally a policy intervention where government supports the operation. Simulation results are promising and show that there is an economic opportunity in recycling WEEE in Iceland. Policy implementations simulated aid in the success of such an endeavor, decreasing the effects of variability in costs and income. The contribution of this thesis is a system dynamics approach to exploring the opportunities of WEEE recycling in Iceland and aid in decision making.