from Metal Miner
What Metals Are We Wasting?
Electronic appliances and industrial products are composed of hundreds of different materials that can be both toxic but also of high economic value. While bulk materials such as iron, aluminium, plastics and glass account for over 80 weight %, valuable materials are found in smaller quantities but are still of high importance. Gold, silver, copper, platinum etc. are just some of the valuable substances which turn recycling of e-waste and i-waste into a lucrative business opportunity.
But here’s the even bigger story, something that brought a wry smile on the faces of our MetalMiner top honchos, The total e-waste generated in 2014 contained about:
- 16.5 million mt of iron
- 1.9 million mt of copper
- 300 mt of gold (equal to 11% of the world’s total 2013 gold production), silver, aluminum, palladium, plastic and other resources with a combined estimated value of $52 billion
The price estimate of the discarded materials; including gold, silver, iron and copper according to the report is, that’s right, some $52 billion. The gold itself was valued at about $11.2 billion. Some researchers, according to the UN report, felt that in many cases, it made s
ense to recover metals. Gee, ya think? Please go to your local scrapyard first before you discard that old stove or computer and remember that there’s a small amount of gold in every old cell phone you to toss into a landfill.