A Transformer-Based Machine Learning Approach for Sustainable E-Waste Management: A Comparative Policy Analysis between the Swiss and Canadian Systems

Ali S., Shirazi F.

Sustainability (Switzerland), vol.14, no.20, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 20
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/su142013220
  • Journal Name: Sustainability (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Aerospace Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: e-waste, sustainability, extended producer responsibility, recycler qualification program, CO2 emission, data envelopment analysis, natural language processing, machine learning, BERT
  • TED University Affiliated: No


© 2022 by the authors.Efficient e-waste management is crucial to successfully achieve sustainable urban growth universally. The upsurge in e-waste has resulted in countries, including Canada, adopting a wide array of policies associated with sustainable management. In this study, we conducted a mixed-method analysis of Canadian e-waste management policies to showcase the opportunities and limitations of the current system. We examine and compare the effectiveness of electronic waste management strategies in Canada and Switzerland using a comparative policy evaluation and by quantitatively measuring their efficiencies through two efficiency methods, namely a transformer-based, bidirectional, unsupervised machine learning model for natural language processing (NLP) and data envelopment analysis (DEA). Switzerland is utilized as a comparison case due to its robust legal framework that has been in place for proper management e-waste in order to enhance Canada’s electronic waste management system. The policy considerations presented in this study are directed toward urban planners, policy makers, and corporate strategists. These involve a mix of political, economic, social, and environmental planning tools concerning how to communicate and foster competent e-waste management in these countries. This is the first study to incorporate DEA and NLP-based BERT analysis to identify the most efficient policy deployment concerning e-waste management.