This study presents a methodology designed for selecting, from an environmental point of view, the best end-of-life strategy for electric and electronic equipment which breaks before the end of its life span. For that, the environmental impact of the life cycle of the equipment is evaluated considering two alternative end-of-life strategies: repair & reuse or replacement. The Life Cycle Assessment methodology is applied to evaluate the environmental performance of each scenario, taking ReCiPe as end-point impact assessment method. The methodology is applied to a representative sample of nine categories of small household electrical and electronic equipment, considering different types of repair for each category and the replacement of the equipment in different years of its lifespan. For all the analyzed categories, the repair & reuse strategy generally proved environmentally better performance than replacement. However, for some types of repairs, e.g., those related to engines or printed circuit boards, if they occur in later product life cycle stages, it is better to replace equipment as the environmental impact from their repair operations is so high than it does not compensate prolonging the years of useful life obtained.
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