Consumption, use and disposal patterns of electric devices among university students in Mar del Plata, Argentina

Authors

  • Greta Clinckspoor IHAm - FAUD - UNMDP / CONICET
  • Laura Zulaica Habitat and Environment Institute, Faculty of Architecture, Urbanism and Design, National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina - Research fellow of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8101-5957

Keywords:

sustainable development, urban mining, ewaste, post-consumer, university students

Abstract

The production of electronic devices, based on the exploitation of non-renewable resources, requires novel strategies for the efficient recovery of valuable materials contained in the e-waste stream. To conceive the local management of these particular
resources in a decentralized way, the patterns of consumption, use and disposal of electronic devices were analyzed in a higherlevel educational institution, the National University of Mar del Plata in Argentina, considered as a Distinctive Urban Mine (DUM).
A quantitative methodology was developed by distributing a self-administered survey on a sample of 400 university students, statistically distributed among the different faculties. The instrument was divided into the stages that condition the postconsumption paths of electronic waste in Mar del Plata city. Each phase – consumption, use and disposal of electronic devices – was analyzed based on the variables of habits, information and valorization. The main results highlight the socio-cultural factors that characterize this particular DUM as replacement cycles of electronic devices, estimated between two to four years, in relation to the lack of maintenance, and valorization in terms of price and
durability. It is the first study that makes a contribution on e-waste based on quantitative data on the territory of Mar del Plata.
The conclusions emphasize the correlations between stages, which can be effectively measured and conducted to improve the
variables to manage DUM sustainably.

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Published

2024-05-17