Tons of discarded computers, TVs, mobile phones have formed a category called E-waste, one of the fastest growing waste categories worldwide. According to the United Nations’ Global E-Waste Monitor report, projections indicate that about 50 million tons of e-waste will be discarded around the world in 2018. This kind of waste is unique because it surprisingly has a large amount of metal. So recycling this waste doesn’t only make sense from an environmental point of view but also from an economical one. Researches have reported in the ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology that recovering gold, copper and other metals from e-waste is 13 times cheaper than obtaining these metals from mines.
This year Dell, IT equipment manufacturer, has partnered up with actress, entrepreneur, activist Nikki Reed to launch a collaboration in support of the sustainable design movement with jewellery made of gold recovered from Dell’s recycling programs. The collection is called “The Circular Collection by Bayou with Love and Dell” and is a limited edition jewelry collection made in the USA. Dell also launched an “industry-first” pilot to use recycled gold from used electronics in new computer motherboards.
Unsurprisingly the e-waste recycling systems should become as advanced as the technology itself. The easiest way for many people to recycle is take electronics back to bricks-and-mortar retailers, a service offered in many major markets. But as the technology is becoming more advanced, smaller and more sophisticated, it is becoming harder to extract the needed metals or values. The e-industry aims to become super progressive and solve most of our everyday life problems but have it thought of the “after life” of the product? It’s time to work not only on the product but on the production and its destruction. Circular economy is right around the corner and the industries need to move fast of they want to stay aboard.