About 97% of the American population owns a smartphone.
Chances are, you’re probably reading this off your smartphone right now. When the time comes to get a new phone, what does the cell phone company do with your old one?
Are recycled electronics always refurbished? Or is it possible to recycle your phone and turn it into something new?
If you’re curious about what happens to your old electronics when you’re done with them, this article is for you. Let’s take a closer look at how different recycling facilities handle electronics.
Why should you recycle electronics? Read on to find out.
Process of Recycled Electronics or E-waste
Recycled electronics are a type of E-Waste or electronic waste. Different facilities handle different types of electronics.
For instance, if you looking for an air conditioner recycling facility, you’d need to specifically search for a location that handles air conditioners. However, if you’re looking for a company to recycle computers or TVs you’d want to search for an E-scrap yard.
E-Waste recycling is the process of separating metals from plastics. Workers also have to ensure that the internal circuitry is kept separate.
Efficiency in the separation of materials is the foundation of economic viability. Any deviation can cause major environmental risks, and job hazards. That’s why, E-Waste recycling materials go through the same way every time.
Types of Mechanical Separations
The first step in E-Waste processing is mechanically taking apart the products piece by piece. Usually, the products go through some type of mechanical shredder.
There are specific recycling processes depending on the materials. For instance, it’s common to separate steel and iron from the waste stream using a conveyor belt.
Workers can take advantage of a powerful magnet that picks the steel and iron up. Recycling facilities separate materials to make new products.
Separating Plastics and Glass
Additional mechanical processing will separate the copper, circuit boards, and aluminum. The materials stream left over will be primarily plastic. Usually, water separation technology separates the plastics from the glass.
The last step is to extract any remaining metal hanging onto the plastic material string. The electronic raw materials go on the market to help make new products. In some cases, recycled E-Waste helps make products that aren’t even electronically related.
Gold and Silver Opportunities
Did you know that a lot of E-Waste contains gold and silver? A lot of smaller operations will work hard to reclaim E-Waste just so that they can harvest the silver and gold. Both silver and gold make for excellent conductors, which is why they’re present in many electronic products.
When companies collect silver and gold, they’re helping the environment out. When E-Waste isn’t disposed of properly, it can cause significant environmental issues. Since there aren’t a lot of current methods for properly disposing of gold and silver, it makes sense to harvest them instead.
Recycle Electronics Today
Every bit of e-scrap can help make the world a better place. After all, recycled electronics are a great way to boost the economy while helping the environment.
Take some time to go through your household items today, and gather up all your old electronics. Then look into local recycling facilities that can take your clutter off your hands.
What other ways could you help improve your life and the world simultaneously? Read another one of our blog posts to find out.