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Urban Mining: Sitting On A Gold Mine

Think twice before tossing your old electronics

Urban Mining. It is a term most people will not be familiar with. It is not some secret code, but rather a cry for natural resources. Urban mining is the process of gathering precious metals and other resources from recycled electronics.

Gold, for example, is present in most mobile phones. While there may not be much gold in a single phone, one ton of phones would contain about 350 grams of gold. With gold prices at around $40.00 a gram, a ton of phones would have about $14,000 worth of gold alone. That’s not including any other precious metals that can be extracted.

All of your old electronics have some value to them, just because of the precious elements. More and more, we see people saving their old electronics. A stockpile of those electronics could be worth something.

Don’t get too excited, though. While there are companies that will buy your old electronics, you would get just a portion of the value. This is because many companies are performing the urban mining. Each state has its own laws regarding the recycling of old electronics. The basic outline would be that the company collecting the old electronics would pay for them at pickup.

What else does it mean? Well, for starters, it’s great news for the environment. One of the largest contributors to waste in the United States is electronic waste. So much is thrown away; recycling them instead saves on many natural resources. Gold and other precious metals can be extracted and used again.

This process will become more and more important over the years as our natural resources begin to dwindle down. Urban mining might just be one of our biggest ideas and accomplishments as time goes on. Our limited resources make this process more than just viable; it is integral in our effort to preserve anything we can.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)