Profit-driven planning and analysis of a WEEE recycling facility with a multi-period MILP model
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- Master Thesis 
Electronic waste is one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the world. The challenges associated with the recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) represent both threats, as the improper disposal of this waste can harm the environment and human health, and opportunities, as this category of waste contains valuable and rare resources that can be recovered and repurposed, contributing to the circular economy. The EU is leading the way in improving the collection and treatment of WEEE, but this has not been sufficient to meet the targets set in its WEEE directive. Therefore, additional efforts must be made to ensure the costeffective and environmentally sound recycling of WEEE, both in the public and private sectors. In this thesis, we propose a multi-period MILP model for the planning of a WEEE recycling facility in Belgium and conduct various analyses to provide insights on what elements are the most crucial to the profitability of such a facility. The originality of our approach lies in the multi-period aspect of the model, and the addition of a limited amount of labour to be allocated to various labour-intensive tasks of WEEE recycling. Our main findings are that labour is the most critical resource, both in cost and utilization, such that the optimal quantity of WEEE to process is the one that results in complete utilization of labour, with little to no overtime. As such, the flexibility of labour, both in possible task allocation and overtime capabilities, is crucial to the proper functioning of the facility, especially when taking into account possible deviations from the optimal plan, caused by the heterogeneity of WEEE and other variations such as the timing of deliveries.