To find gold, do not dig on the left hand side or forget to look for copper ore. A new study reveals that the recycling of metals from recycled electronic goods has led to a process called urban mining. We can say that the most important feature of this business is much cheaper than traditional methods.


One of the most important and biggest problems of our planet is e-waste as you all know. Old TVs, radios or cell phones, if you are not a packer, then the trash is the last place to go. Although we have many memories with these devices, we can forget about them immediately when we receive more new ones. However, the planet does not forget old electronic goods.

According to the United Nations 2017 Global E-Waste Monitor report, in 2016 alone, the world dropped 44.7 million metric tons or just unwanted electronics. Think about the amount of 4,500 Eiffel towers, the phone, the laptop computer, the microwave oven and the TV stacked on top of each other, if this amount would be explained in concrete terms. Only 20 percent of this e-waste is recycled appropriately this year. The rest are burned and pumped as atmospheric pollution or contaminated with water.

So, in general, it is very bad to throw electronic goods into nature. However, what is going to be news here is not just that it is bad; because the real news is that these items are as valuable as a real gold mine. Of course, we knew that electronics included precious metals in addition to glass and plastic. Although a single smartphone does not have that much, consumers buy 1.7 billion devices every year. Only 1 million of them have 34 kilograms of gold, 15 kilograms of copper and 3.5 kilograms of silver.

However, according to the statements made, nobody knows that these materials are valuable in terms of mining. To overcome this problem, three researchers from Bejing’s Tsinghua University and Macquarie University in Sydney conducted a study, and the results were published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Of course, not every nation has the same subsidies as China, all the costs of recycling will not be the same everywhere. However, according to the UN report, China is the world’s largest e-waste producer. If companies in this country are able to make money and earn money through e-waste, a very important threshold will be taken for the solution of the general problem.

When addressed in the context of our country, recycling projects, which are already very limited, are at higher levels in electronic waste. Even if people do not throw away too many electronic goods, consumption is rising and as a result these wastes are being scrapped. If we consider this to be an industry, our country can have a great problem solving around the world in particular. What are you thinking?


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