Buying back household waste electrical and electronic equipment: Assessing Thailand's proposed policy in light of past disposal behavior and future preferences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article assesses the potential and the limitations of Thailand's proposed policy which would have local governments buy back targeted waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) from households at designated locations. The proposal relies on the premise that a monetary incentive at the time of disposal is needed to gain participation from households which would otherwise sell to private waste dealers who purchase and then introduce WEEE into the pollution-causing informal recycling sector. To see whether the premise and the proposed policy were valid, a large-scale survey of 1529 households was conducted. This article reports these households' past behavior in, and future preferences for the disposal of 10 particular WEEE items: televisions, digital cameras, portable media players, desktop printers, mobile phones, personal computers, refrigerators, air conditioners, fluorescent lamps, and dry-cell batteries, which were prioritized under the Thai WEEE Strategy. We also tested the effects of population density, distance to the hypothetical drop-off location, car ownership, product weight and the financial incentive offered on the respondents' past decisions and future choices. The survey results show that creating a standardized program to buy back WEEE at designated drop-off locations has a potential of getting household WEEE introduced into the formal recycling sector. It could also help eliminate the psychological hurdle of parting with obsolete products and encourage their disposal. However, the program may not be enough to convince people to stop selling WEEE to waste dealers, especially if they had done so in the past. Based on the results, recommendations to improve the viability of the proposed policy and to direct and enhance future research are outlined. (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Panate Manomaivibool
  • Sujitra Vassanadumrongdee
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Electronic waste, Obsolescence, Product take back, Recycling, Source, separation, Waste collection
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
JournalResources, Conservation & Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch