In this paper we critically review methodologies for evaluating end-of-life alternatives for products that have completed their initial life-cycle. We consider final assemblies incorporating several discrete parts and subassemblies, which are coupled through appropriate fasteners. Our survey concentrates on issues pertaining to the determination of cost effective disassembly plans that would allow the recycling or reuse of sub-assemblies, parts, or materials. We examine product data representations that are most suitable for devising such plans, and describe the economics of disassembly, recycling, re-manufacturing, and reuse. We also review existing approaches for generating disassembly sequences from a network or other type of product representation, and discuss software tools that can assist this process. Finally, we present an overview of a novel method for determining cost effective disassembly plans through practical and easy to implement steps. The method employs data that are readily available in databases of modern manufacturing companies.