Urban Mining

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 12:26 AM

While technology production increases, so does the waste of older technology. What most do not realize, is how valuable old technology really is. According to an article on UbanMining.org, it only takes 41 cellphones to acquire 1 gram of gold. The current exchange rate of gold is about $38 per gram. For the amount of work this would take, this does not seem like a good use of time. But keep in mind the growth of innovation for technology and the decreased amount of time it takes to create new upgrades for these products causes an influx of unused and unwanted technology.


There is a new movement called "urban mining" which looks for resources in urban areas rather than actual mines. These technologies have various different types of rare metals that could be extracted and traded for cash or to be reused for new technology, thereby reducing the amount of earth mining needed.

The advocates for urban mining stress the importance of proper extraction. While it may be easier to burn away plastic that holds the metals, the chemicals released is harmful to the environment and to those around it. 

With no end in sight for the increase in technology production, new e-recycling plants could be created and current E-recycling plants could hire a greater amount of workers. An increase in job opportunities and proper recycling training would finally solve the growing E-Waste problem happening.

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