Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


Document Number

Research Paper #2008-6


This paper reports progress in modeling recycling and remanufacturing processes within metropolitan regional economies at the micro and macro levels. The paper presents interim results from a multi-year, inter-institutional research project funded by the National Science Foundation. We identify a number of issues that have arisen from an in-depth industry level analysis of obsolete and waste products generated in the Seattle, WA and Atlanta, GA metro regions from waste electronics (e-waste) and carpet production and consumption. The two metro regions were selected for comparative analysis because Seattle is a recognized leader in e-waste recycling and sustainable development programs, while Atlanta has been slow to embrace recycling but is only 70 miles from the center of US carpet manufacturing (Dalton) and has an industry trade association that has set aggressive targets for carpet recycling and remanufacturing, e-waste forms the focus of this paper. We provide a detailed elaboration of processes at the micro-level, along with an enumeration of problems and solutions in characterizing these new industries, including an integration with environmental Life Cycle Assessment, and embedding the results in a macro-economic modeling framework.