Where does your old stereo, TV, or cell phone go when you’re done with it? No matter how large or small your electronic devices are, they don’t just disappear. Unfortunately, they end up in a landfill, where they contribute to e-waste, and e waste mining.
Electronic devices that are not being used anymore pose a danger to the environment and our health. These gadgets contain harmful components like lead, cadmium, and polychlorinated biphenyls. They pose a serious threat to our health, particularly children’s.
What can we do to reduce electronic waste?
Your gadgets, no matter their age, will always be a valuable source of precious metals such as gold and copper. Next-generation tablets and smartphones could be made from the components of their predecessors if more companies recycle electronics in the future. This could help reduce the demand for precious metals mining. We can also conserve these finite resources.
Although the world is well aware that electronic waste contains billions of dollars worth components and metals we still don’t recycle electronics enough. 20 percent of electronic waste is recycled through the correct channels. The public and private sectors are now more conscious of the environmental impact they have, so there should be a shift in the next few years.
E-waste mining does not involve digging up ores that are buried beneath the ground. E-waste mining is the process of extracting valuable metals out of existing gadgets. They can be recycled and used to make new devices instead of being thrown away. It is beneficial for the environment and will be great for the economy.
In a study published by Environmental Science and Technology in, researchers at Macquarie Graduate School of Management and State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation found that e-waste Mining could be just as profitable as de-novo mining.
The costs of eight Chinese electronic waste processing companies were compared to traditional mining costs. The team found that traditional mining is 13% more expensive than e-waste mines. They suggested that e-waste could be possible and even profitable.
The study also indicated that entrepreneurs who want to start electronics recycling companies must have knowledge and expertise in metals and processing. They also suggested that e-waste mining may need to be started on a smaller scale.
Current E-Waste Mining Practices
There are only a few entrepreneurs today who have started their own e waste mining businesses. Veena Sahajwalla is an Australian professor and one of these pioneers. A European Union initiative called Prospecting Secondary Raw Materials In the Urban Mine and Mining Wastes is another e-waste project.
Electronic waste mining advocates like Sahajwalla believe this will benefit many sectors that are involved in the process. It is possible for countries to manage and leverage electronic wastes. They can provide more jobs for their citizens and reap the economic benefits.
Old cathode ray tubes and old cell phones are valuable resources for mining electronic products. They can also be valuable sources of copper and gold. This new method of electronics recycling might not be able handle all the components of gadgets.
However, there are other electronic recycling processes that are on the rise and should be able handle all components of e-waste. These practices are compliant with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Initiative. For example, Ireland has e-waste processing methods that allow for the separation of metals and plastics from each other component, which allows them to reuse all elements.
It might take some time before you see gadgets entirely made from recycled materials. It is uncertain if this will happen in our lifetime. One thing is certain: many people are working hard to make it possible. Recycling your electronics could eventually be a revenue stream and an environmental boon. Recycle your e waste with eCycle Florida today. If you reside in Florida, eCycle Florida, an R2 certified electronics recycling company, provides a drop-off area for residents and a pick up service for businesses. These services are available in:
It would save tons of energy each year if everyone disposed of all their electronics properly, which would result in a healthier planet.
eCycle offers a multitude of industries such as: