Reuse & Recycling


Reuse and recycling is as old as civilization itself. It was the industrial revolution and the ensuing, and still enduring, era of mass production and consumption that made them unfashionable. Like a piece of vintage clothing at the bottom of a trunk, reuse and recycling keep being rediscovered at regular intervals. First in the 80s, as a response to a fear of running out of landfill space. Then again in the 90s, with the emerging concept of industrial ecology. In fact, reuse and recycling lie at the heart of the industrial ecology metaphor. The very notion of the industrial ecosystem is motivated by the idea that we should learn from natural ecosystems how to “close the loop.” Most recently, reuse and recycling has been reborn as the ‘circular economy’. While the concepts are old, the study of reuse and recycling are plagued by misconceptions and lack or rigor. We are working hard to dispel the former and add the latter.


Palazzo J, Geyer R, Startz R, Steigerwald D (2019) Causal Inference for Quantifying Displaced Primary Production from Recycling, Journal of Cleaner Production, in press.

Zink T, Geyer R (2019) Recycling and the Myth of Landfill Diversion, Journal of Industrial Ecology,

Zink T, Geyer R, Startz R (2018) Toward Estimating Displaced Production from Recycling: A Case Study of U.S. Aluminum, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 22(2), 314-326.

Zink T, Geyer R (2016) Circular Economy Rebound, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(3), 593-602.

Geyer R, Kuczenski B, Zink T, Henderson A (2016) Common Misconceptions about Recycling, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 20(5), 1010-1017.

Zink T, Geyer R, Startz R (2016) A Market-Based Framework for Quantifying Displaced Production from Recycling or Reuse, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 20(4), 719-729.

Geyer R, Kuczenski B, Trujillo M (2016) Assessing the Greenhouse Gas Savings Potential of Extended Producer Responsibility for Mattresses and Boxsprings in the U.S., Journal of Industrial Ecology, 20(4), 917-928.

Fournier E, Keller A, Geyer R, Frew J (2016) Investigating the Energy-Water Usage Efficiency of the Reuse of Treated Municipal Wastewater for Artificial Groundwater Recharge, Environmental Science and Technology, 50(4), 2044-2053.

Zink T, Maker F, Geyer R, Amirtharajah R, Akella V (2014) Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Smartphone Reuse: Repurposing vs. Refurbishment, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 19(5), 1099-1109.

Geyer R, Kuczenski B, Henderson A, Zink, T (2014) CalRecycle’s Used Oil Life Cycle Assessment Project pursuant to Senate Bill 546 (Lowenthal): Life Cycle Assessment of Used Oil Management in California, California Natural Resources Agency, Sacramento, CA.

Kuczenski B, Geyer R (2013) PET Bottle Reverse Logistics – Environmental Performance of California’s CRV program, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 18(2), 456-471.

Geyer R, Doctori Blass V (2010) The economics of cell phone reuse and recycling, Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 47(5-8), 515-525.

Oliver J Y, Amirtharajah R, Akella V , Geyer R, Chong F T (2007) Life-cycle Aware Computing: Reusing Silicon Technology, Computer, 40(12), 56-61.

Geyer R, Van Wassenhove L N, Atasu A (2007) The economics of remanufacturing under limited component durability and finite product life cycles, Management Science, 53(1), 88-100.

Geyer R, Van Wassenhove L N, Neeraj K (2005) Reverse logistics in an electronics company: the NEC-CI case, 33-39 in: Managing Closed-Loop Supply Chains, Flapper S D P, van Nunen J A E E, Van Wassenhove L N (Eds.), Springer, Berlin, Germany.

Geyer R, Jackson T (2004) Supply Loops and Their Constraints: The Industrial Ecology of Recycling and Reuse, California Management Review, 40(2), 55-73.

Geyer R, Van Wassenhove L N (2004) The Impact of Constraints in Closed-loop Supply Chains: The Case of Reusing Components in Product Manufacturing, 203-219 in: Distribution Logistics: Advanced Solutions to Practical Problems, Fleischmann B, Klose A (Eds.), Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Volume 544, Springer, Berlin, Germany.