Abstract This paper presents an approach to recycling system planning for used products at their end-of-life phase. We focused on the design of cellular recycling systems by using group technology. Current approaches employ design and process attributes for group formation in manufacturing. The recycling process of a product, however, is characterized by uncertainties due to usage influences on the product. We introduce in this paper usage attributes in addition to those mentioned above. In order to consider the usage attributes, fuzzy-set theory is applied. The approach is illustrated by designing a cellular system for the recycling of Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) from used monitors and TV sets.