Evaluating and managing interactive barriers for sustainable e-waste management in China

Yan Xu, Chung-Hsing Yeh, Chenguang Liu, Sidra Ramzan, Ling Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


E-waste, also known as waste electrical and electronic equipment, has become one of the fastest growing waste streams worldwide. As the world’s largest e-waste processing country, China’s e-waste management practice is facing multiple barriers to meet the requirement of sustainability from the economic, environmental and social perspectives. With an empirical study on the e-waste management practice of a major province in Western China, this paper develops an integrated planning approach for evaluating and managing the barriers which have mutual influence on their impact on the e-waste management practice. In consideration of interactive relationships of the barriers, a barrier assessment process is developed to assess the direct and indirect impacts of the barriers on the sustainable e-waste management practice in terms of economic, environmental and social sustainability criteria. A strategic planning process is proposed to categorise the barriers into four planning zones based on their overall impact and mitigation level. This paper contributes to e-waste management research by providing a structured approach for managing interactive barriers to achieve sustainable e-waste management. The proposed approach represents a methodological contribution to multicriteria evaluation research involving sustainability criteria and interactive alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2018-2031
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • causal analysis
  • E-waste management
  • Interactive barriers
  • multicriteria decision making
  • optimal criteria weighting
  • strategic planning

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