SMART: The recycling of mobile phones in Norway

There are various processes involved in recycling a mobile phone, from the collection of devices to the extraction of metals. Each of these involves different agents that interact as part of a system.

This project goes in line with an ongoing PhD research that analyses recycling systems in different contexts (including Ghana, China, and Brazil). We now seek a master student to conduct research on the recycling system of mobile phones in Norway - the country with the highest generation of e-waste per capita in Europe (Balde et al, 2017).


We use complex adaptive systems thinking to explore the interconnections among different agents in the system, as well as possible unintended consequences. By focusing on the Norwegian system, you will contribute to understanding the complexity of recycling mobile phones worldwide.

The project will include fieldwork to places of interest (e.g. collection points, and recycling facilities in Norway). Fieldwork can be arranged together with the supervisor. Analysis of secondary data (e.g. reports and websites) might be used to strengthen the research.

There is the possibility of writing papers for international conferences/journals in cooperation with the supervisor.


This project is part of SMART, a large EU-financed research project. SMART is coordinated by the Law Faculty of the UiO and has a multidisciplinary team of scholars in different countries. Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and the circular economy strategy, it aims at finding a greater policy coherence for development.

IFI leads the research on one of SMART case studies, the mobile phone. We take a life cycle approach to investigate the sustainability of mobile phones from their design all the way to their disposal and recycling. As a master student in the SMART project, you will have access to its international network of scholars, and be part of the research team in Oslo.   


Language for the master thesis: English

Main supervisor: Alice Frantz Schneider

Co-supervisor: Maja van der Velden



Mandatory: IN5010 - Design, Technology & Society

Suggestion: SUM4019 - Consumption, Sustainability and Social Change

Emneord: sustainability, e-waste, recycling, life cycle thinking, circular economy
Publisert 8. nov. 2018 16:18 - Sist endret 8. nov. 2018 16:52

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