Creating value through product stewardship and takeback

Jesse Dillard, Dale S. Rogers, Zachary S. Rogers, Ronald Lembke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose – Secondary markets provide a place for unwanted items to be bought and sold, which diverts them from landfills, reducing the products' ecological impact and creating economic value. The purpose of this paper is study the secondary markets to understand the size of this important portion of the US economy. Design/methodology/approach The data were collected from financial reports, news articles, and interviews with subject experts. From all of these sources, the scope and size of secondary markets can be estimated. Findings Secondary markets are effective in diverting a large number of products from landfills, creating numerous jobs, resulting in substantial economic value in the process. Although not reflected in current government metrics, a conservative estimate is that the secondary market represents 2.28 percent of the 2008 US gross domestic product. Research limitations/implications Several of the secondary markets have many small players, with no strong trade associations or other authorities to estimate their size. The paper's estimates based on known sources are very conservative, perhaps underestimating the size of these sectors. Practical implications As society increasingly pays attention to the ecological impact of its products, secondary markets will play an important role in supply chains. Understanding the magnitude, structure and reach of these markets can help firms develop better product stewardship and lifecycle management. Social implications Individuals will not directly change their behavior from this research, but the findings should help companies behave differently, which in the end will offer products with lower ecological impact. Originality/value Secondary markets are an integral part of the US economy, and have not been adequately studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-160
Number of pages28
JournalSustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 28 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Recycling
  • Salvage
  • Secondhand markets
  • United States of America
  • Waste recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Creating value through product stewardship and takeback'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this