Did you know your old—even nonfunctioning—electronics could still have value?
With a massive and growing amount of electronics being tossed each year, environmental agencies and concerned citizens around the globe have been putting an increasing amount of pressure on waste management to dispose of e waste responsibly. Many junk removal operations, however, remain unaware of the hidden revenue stream e waste can offer. Before you throw small or large electronics into the trash pile, consider recycling the e waste from your junk removal operations.
A gold mine for junk removal companies
The familiar saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is an appropriate adage for the incredible value that could be found in recycling e waste versus dumping used electronics in a landfill.
Sometimes called “urban mining,” this method can help junk removal companies and other interested parties recover assets and reuse reclaimed materials. Whether the computers, cell phones, or electronic devices you collect can be refurbished or simply taken apart for materials, you may be surprised to discover how much value can come from recycling e waste.
In addition to minimizing environmental pollution, e waste recycling can recover valuable precious materials found in electronic devices such as gold, silver, copper, platinum, palladium, lithium, and cobalt. For example, an electronic motherboard can contain platinum, gold and silver.
Wondering just how much precious material is being wasted in landfills? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one metric ton of circuit boards can contain 40 to 800 times the amount of gold and 30 to 40 times the amount of copper mined from one metric ton of ore in the U.S. For every million cell phones that are recycled, 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium could be recovered.
A ‘golden opportunity’ across the globe
Many countries are beginning to wise up to the hidden gems sitting within piles of trash. For instance, some workers in Nairobi make a living collecting e waste from landfills or retailers. These savvy, environmentally-minded entrepreneurs are making an income, saving precious minerals and metals, and curbing the harmful effects of toxic e waste pollution.
The World Economic Forum touts e waste as one of the world’s biggest problems, but also its golden opportunity. Extracting precious metals when recycling e waste costs less and is far less damaging to the environment than mining them. Still, it’s estimated only 10 to 15 percent of all gold stored in e waste is recovered by recycling.
Along with the economic benefits of rescuing e waste from junk removal, recycling e waste brings the world that much closer to reaching sustainability goals.
Extracting valuable e waste from junk removal
Junk removal companies and other companies with excess amounts of e waste can take old, discarded electronics to electronics recycling companies (such as Global Electronic Recycling). Depending on the condition, components, and capacity of your electronic devices, they may still have enough life left to be repaired and resold for a profit.
If your e waste has truly reached its end-of-life, however, valuable components can still be recycled and resold. Nearly all of e waste is considered partially to fully recyclable, from plastic casings to internal hardware. Electronic recycling companies have the ability to dismantle and separate materials such as precious metals via processes such as magnets, smelting or electronic currents. Once melted into new bars or solid forms, the precious metals and valuable materials can then be resold and reused.
Need help determining how much value is in your e waste? Contact us today.