Gold in them thar chips

Element - - Clean Technology -

Elec­tronic waste con­tains 40 – 50 times the amount of gold in ore mined from the ground, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port by the Global e-Sus­tain­abil­ity Ini­tia­tive and the United Nations Univer­sity.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, over the past decade the elec­tron­ics in­dus­try in­creased its us­age of gold from 197 to 320 – pri­mar­ily in the tiny gold mi­croplated pins of mi­cro chips.

But only 15% of the gold in e-waste is be­ing re­cov­ered in re­cy­cling pro­cesses – the ma­jor­ity of it is thrown away. The re­port cites Ruedi­ger Kuehr, ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary of the Solv­ing the E-Waste Prob­lem Ini­tia­tive: “One day – likely sooner than later – peo­ple will look back on such costly in­ef­fi­cien­cies and won­der how we could be so short sighted and waste­ful of nat­u­ral re­sources.”

What to do with yours

Com­puter Re­cy­cling Ltd, an Auck­land based com­pany, claims a stag­ger­ing 99% of re­ceived items are kept out of land­fills.

Com­puter Re­cy­cling Ltd is cur­rently the only New Zealand owned and op­er­ated com­pany that holds two Basel Ex­port Per­mits: one for gen­eral e-waste, which in­cludes all com­puter and elec­tronic equip­ment; and the other for CRT glass that comes from old com­puter mon­i­tors and tele­vi­sions.

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