British recycling company Exuberan is looking to open a facility in the United States that would retrieve precious metals from e-waste.
The plant will recycle copper, gold, and silver from discarded cell phones, computers, TVs, etc.
According to Reuters, Exuberan is planning to invest more than $340 million in developing the world’s first zero-waste smelter and refinery.
“Every year millions of tonnes of e-waste are buried in landfill or shipped overseas, often to the developing world, where poorly regulated disposal of electronic devices damages health and the environment.”
The lack of regulation in those parts of the world leads to a hazardous cottage industry of amateur recycling.
People there make a living by using crude methods to extract metals, like burning the wiring and cables or dipping circuits into acid.
These practices are not only highly unsafe but also contribute to pollution in those communities.
On the other hand, recycling rare metals from e-waste is crucial to meeting emission-cut targets set by governments around the world.
The facility will be designed to process specifically e-waste and other non-ferrous scrap.
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