The devastating impact of the ripple effect increases the importance of the reverse supply chain (RSC) design to ensure sustainability in the long-term. That being the case, in this study, a two-stage stochastic mixed-integer optimization model is proposed to design an RSC network under uncertainty sourcing from the ripple effect (i.e. external side of RSC) by considering the environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability. The environmental and economic disruptions of the ripple effect are represented by the increase in the carbon emission levels and the distance of roads, and the decrease in the capacity of facilities, respectively. Accordingly, a set of scenarios is considered based on the disruption levels (low- and high-impact) in case of the ripple effect. Furthermore, an alpha-reliability constraint is integrated into the model to further analyze the occurrence of scenarios. The model allows us to make integrated operational and strategic decisions by placing an emphasis on the carbon emission levels (i.e. environmental dimension) and the total cost (i.e. economic dimension). To obtain some remarkable insights, the proposed model is validated through computational experiments based on data extracted from a real case. The computational results show that the ripple effect increases the emission level and total cost up to 40%. For this reason, it suggested that the regulations regarding WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) should be prepared by considering sustainability in the entire RSC network. Besides, it is realized that the centralized distribution strategy leads to a more resilient RSC network design. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.