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Fang, Y.; Qu, Z.; Wang, W. Internet-Based E-Waste Collection Platforms. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 05 December 2023).
Fang Y, Qu Z, Wang W. Internet-Based E-Waste Collection Platforms. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed December 05, 2023.
Fang, Yan, Zhuowen Qu, Wenhua Wang. "Internet-Based E-Waste Collection Platforms" Encyclopedia, (accessed December 05, 2023).
Fang, Y., Qu, Z., & Wang, W.(2023, May 28). Internet-Based E-Waste Collection Platforms. In Encyclopedia.
Fang, Yan, et al. "Internet-Based E-Waste Collection Platforms." Encyclopedia. Web. 28 May, 2023.
Internet-Based E-Waste Collection Platforms

As Internet-based e-waste collection moves from a novelty to a routine way of e-waste collection in China, the service quality of Internet-based e-waste collection platforms plays a crucial role in attracting users.

electronic service quality Internet-based e-waste collection scale development

1. Introduction

As the world’s second-largest producer of e-waste [1], China is entering the peak period of scraping, while there is a persistent problem with traditional e-waste collection, such as heavy contamination, high cost, obstructed channels of information and unreasonable allocation of resources [2][3]. Fortunately, e-waste collection, which is defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as equipment that uses electricity to reach the end of its lifecycle, has new opportunities that are emerging from Internet-based e-waste collection platforms with the rapid development of the Internet [2].
Internet-based e-waste collection is known as an O2O collection model, which can make collection easy for users, traceable for producers, profitable for recyclers, transparent and secure for the public, and friendly to the environment [1][4][5][6][7]. Internet-based e-waste collection is incredibly essential for the sustainable development of the e-waste collection industry [2] and enables the e-waste collection industry to be highly favored by the capital market and government.
The e-waste collection industry in China has been prompted by Internet-based e-waste collection platforms in recent years, and various Internet-based e-waste collection platforms were born from this. E-commerce giants such as Alibaba Group and have additionally joined endeavors to promote e-waste collection. Alibaba Group is the leading investor of, one of the China’s largest Internet-based e-waste collection platforms. has invested in, which is another Internet-based e-waste collection platform focusing on wasted digital products. By using these Internet-based e-waste collection platforms, users can make arrangements for unused e-waste with online orders and offline collection. Internet-based e-waste collection also helps combine the traditional e-waste collection system with the Internet in the form of online platforms and collection applications [7][8]. Therefore, it is necessary for the e-waste collection industry to achieve new vitality through Internet-based e-waste collection [9].
Meanwhile, the Chinese government has highly supported Internet-based e-waste collection through a series of laws and regulations, such as “Guidance on actively promoting the ‘Internet +’ action” issued by the State Council, “‘Internet +’ three-year action plan for green ecology” issued by the National Development and Reform and Commission [10] and ‘‘Opinions on promoting transformation and upgrading renewable resources recycling industry” jointly issued by the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and other government departments in 2016 [2]. All these laws and regulations aim at promoting e-waste collection by integrating the Internet and other advanced technologies [11].
With the continuous expansion of the scale of the service industry and the enhancement of public service awareness, enterprises have to improve service quality so as to enhance their competitiveness and profits [12]. Under Internet-based e-waste collection, many platforms have been striving to improve their service quality so as to better satisfy user experience. A case in point is Aihuishou, which had opened over 300 outlets and provided face-to-face communication and transactions in 35 cities by 2018 [4], which aims to make it easy for users to participate in Internet-based e-waste collection.
Although researchers have put forward dozens of suggestions and solutions for e-waste collection [13][14][15][16] and many countries have made great efforts to improve the quality of e-waste collection [14][17][18][19][20][21], the outcomes are not optimal [22]. Only 8.9 Mt of e-waste was recorded to be collected and recycled globally in 2016, which was equivalent to 20% of all the e-waste generated [23]. The lack of flexibility and convenience of Internet-based e-waste collection increases users’ reluctance to act [24]. Additionally, users’ complaints about inaccurate pricing and long mailing collection waiting time further hinder users’ participation. Therefore, it is essential for Internet-based e-waste collection platforms to provide their users with better service quality to promote the effectiveness and efficiency of Internet-based e-waste collection. For this purpose, it is necessary for managers to understand the connotation and constituent elements of the service quality of Internet-based e-waste collection. This will help them focus on the key aspects to meet the needs and desires of users [25].
A considerable number of scholars have tried to identify the key role of service quality in platform performance and users’ participation behavior under Internet-based e-waste collection. The effects of the service quality, such as the accessibility of Internet-based e-waste collection and the convenience of offline collection channels on users’ satisfaction, loyalty, or behavioral intentions, are significant according to the literature on Internet-based e-waste collection [26][27][28]. However, a holistic and methodical service-quality-oriented focus on Internet-based e-waste collection platforms has rarely been considered in existing studies. Service quality scales in the existing literature were mainly developed for online shopping websites and online hotel websites [29][30][31][32]. These special service quality scales might not be applicable to Internet-based e-waste collection platforms, and it might be troublesome to modify a general measurement scale on an ad-hoc basis [33].

2. Service Quality

The concept of e-service quality was first referred to by Lemon [34], whereas Zeithaml et al. [35] defined e-service quality as “the extent to which a website facilitates efficient and effective shopping, purchasing and delivery of products and services”. Bressolles and Nantel [36] argued that the definition covers both pre- and post-service delivery experiences on the web. It is essential to examine the service quality (SERVQUAL) scale before discussing e-service quality because much existing e-service quality research is mainly based on SERVQUAL [37]. Parasuraman et al. [38][39] developed the SERVQUA scale, which has ten dimensions, at first and then modified the scale and reduced it to five dimensions (tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy) in 1988. In 2005, a similar method was employed by Parasuraman et al. [40] in their work on SERVQUAL, and they proposed e-service quality instruments (E-S-QUAL), which have four dimensions (efficiency, system availability, fulfillment and privacy). This has been utilized and adapted in several empirical studies in different settings such as an e-supermarket and e-bank, subsequently [41][42][43].

3. The Scale Development of Service Quality

With further research into e-service quality, scholars have developed some measurement scales in various e-service contexts. Some scholars have adopted the traditional service quality dimensions to advance their research into electronic service quality [44][45] However, some researchers also criticized these adaptations because each electronic service environment dominated by people-machine interface is incredibly different and a new set of quality dimensions need to be established [40][46][47][48]. The dimensions for measuring e-service quality are mainly based on a modified SERVQUAL scale [49]; Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Malhotra [40] presented efficiency, system availability, fulfillment, and privacy as the dimensions of the E-S-QUAL scale, and the E-RecS-QUAL scale was consisted of three dimensions (responsiveness, ease of contact and financial compensation). The former mainly focused on e-service technology, while the latter mainly focused on customer service. Especially availability and responsiveness were highlighted with the rapid development of the e-service. It is easy to understand that some dimensions of the traditional scale could be retained in the e-service context while others could not.

4. Influencing Factors of Internet-Based E-Waste Collection

A number of studies have investigated the key factors influencing the intention of Internet-based e-waste collection and pointed out that users are much more likely to collect when the Internet-based e-waste collection platform provided high-quality services such as faster responses, safer transactions, and more functions. Chi et al. [50] investigated end-users’ participating behaviors in Taizhou of China and indicated that the economic benefit and convenience of collecting, which included being near to home, having flexible collection time, being easy to find and having pickup service with the proper value of e-waste, were the main concerning factors. Zhang et al. [51] conducted a questionnaire survey and suggested that perceived convenience, attitude and subjective norms were positively related to the users’ willingness to adopt platforms for e-waste collection. The price disadvantage was not conducive to encouraging users to participate in e-waste collection. Wang, Ren, Dong, Zhang, and Wang [1] acknowledged that the convenience of Internet-based e-waste collection was the most attractive factor for users to take part in online collection programs compared with traditional collection and that users who had a lower income expected higher returns.


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