Disassembly and Reverse Logistics: The Case of the Computer Industry
Reverse logistics is a process in which a manufacturer accepts products from consumers for possible remanufacturing, recycling, reuse, or disposal. Reverse logistics can extend the life cycle of a product and promote alternate use of resources that can be both cost-effective and eco-friendly. The reverse logistics activities of an organization are also directly affected by four environmental forces: customers, suppliers, competitors and government agencies. Computer reuse refers to the efforts aimed at keeping computers in operation by extending their life beyond three years. Refurbishing is different from reuse since the computers are tested, repaired, and, in some cases, reinstalled with new software. The break down of computer equipment to recover metals, plastic, and glass is termed as computer recycling. Recycling is a complex process since there are over a thousand different materials in a computer. Plastic is found in the computer casing, the monitor, and the keyboard.