Your old electronics are more valuable than you think. When you toss your e-waste into the trash, you’re not only sending it to a landfill where it will release its toxic chemicals. You’re also wasting all the precious materials that it contains, like gold and silver.
There is such a high amount of precious materials in e-waste that there is actually e-waste mining that occurs to recover these resources from old electronics. That said, these materials can’t be recovered if they aren’t properly disposed of and recycled.
This is why when you are deciding how to get rid of e-waste, it’s important to be aware of where it is going and how it will be treated.
For example, you can enlist the help of a junk removal company that will offer e-waste removal services to haul away your old electronic devices and make sure they are recycled properly.
Proper electronic recycling is essential to the recovery of these materials. These are the precious materials that can be found in your electronic devices:
Gold: Carries Small Currents Through Your Devices
You’d be surprised to know that there is gold in every one of your electronic devices. In fact, according to The Verge, you will find 80 times more gold in one ton of cellphones than you will in a gold mine.
Gold is used in all types of electronics from phones, to televisions, to circuit boards because it is an efficient conductor that carries the tiny currents needed to operate these devices.
Computers, for example, are meant to transmit information constantly and instantly. To do this, they require a reliable conductor — like gold. It is also worth mentioning that gold is resistant to corrosion, which helps it to make devices more durable.
Silver: Good Conductivity
Many may be surprised by the fact that silver is less widely available than gold. This is because it’s frequently used in a wide variety of products including electronics, DVD’s, deodorant, water filters & more.
Silver is commonly used in electronics because, out of all metals, it’s the best thermal and electrical conductor. It is also resistant to corrosion and oxidation, which allows it to help products work better and last longer.
Due to the fact that silver is such a powerful metal, it tends to be used regularly — that said, there is no inexpensive alternative that provides the same results. Consider the rarity and worth of silver before you improperly recycle your electronics and toss out the powerful metal to never be repurposed.
Copper: Electrical Efficiency
Like silver and gold, copper is another strong conductor of electricity — in fact, according to The Balance, copper transformers can be up to 99.75 percent efficient. It’s because of this that the electrical sector consumes 65 percent of copper production.
This material is durable, resists corrosion and is highly malleable. Copper can be found in your TV, computers, phones, tablets and more.
Palladium: Helps Control Electrical Flow
Palladium is another good electrical conductor that is resistant and durable — so much so that it’s used in virtually every electronic device ranging from phones to computers to broadcasting equipment.
Palladium coats the small components in electrical devices – I.e. electrodes – which help them to control electrical flow.
Next time you decide to get rid of your collection of old phones (yes, including your Nokia and razor flip phone), consider all these rare materials they contain that can be recycled and recovered if you take the steps necessary to get rid of your e-waste responsibly.