" ITREALMS: Excelling value of urban mining - ITREALMS

Friday, November 20, 2020

Excelling value of urban mining - ITREALMS

Commentary@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

Time and again, the value of e-waste recycling continues to be re-emphasized. This is because e-waste contains precious metals and other valuable resources that can be utilized for new products. 

For example due to its highly efficient electrical conductivity, and corrosion resistance properties, gold is used as electrical contacts and it is found in old mobile phones, computers and TVs, that require very low voltages and currents, which are easily interrupted by corrosion. Extracting this metal makes business sense and is very circular in nature.

A report from the U.S Geological Survey (USGS) suggested that mining gold from e-waste could be more profitable than mining from conventional gold mines. According to that report, in a typical mine in South Africa, you will have to go through 1 ton of gold ore rubies to retrieve 1g of pure gold but, you can get the same amount of gold from just 40 old mobile phones.

Allowing e-waste to end up in landfills or dumpsites is a colossal waste of resources, since studies have found that the precious metals in e-waste, found especially in circuit boards, are more concentrated than in the most productive mines. In 2016, the gold in the world’s e-waste equaled more than a tenth of the gold mined globally that year. 

And yet much of this treasure is simply reburied in landfills. Based on e-waste disposal rates, it is estimated that Americans alone throw out phones worth $60 million in gold and silver every year a report from the New York Times Magazine stated.

The practical value of urban mining of e-waste has been demonstrated by the organizers of the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo. Winning Athletes in this game are going to receive gold, silver and bronze medals forged from recycled e-waste. 

Although, this is not the first time Olympic medals will be made from recycled materials – the medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics were made from 30% recycled materials as well, however is this the first time the medals will be made completely out of extracted materials from e-waste.

This beautiful demonstration of urban mining can be ours as well if , you and I keep e-waste completely away from the trash cans.

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