Before launching into an “urban mining” session on raw materials and recycling, we emphasised that reuse always comes before recycling. Then we “mined” with students working to identify the elements and minerals in the parts.
Our mission is not just fixing, but connecting the dots between the way we use (and discard!) electronics, and the way they are produced. It is understanding – and intervening to reduce – their social and environmental impacts.
Our e-stuff is a goldmine. Recently the United Nations University and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) estimated that electronic waste now contains precious metal “deposits” 40 to 50 times richer than ores mined from the ground. Annually $16 billion in gold is built into our electronics and at least 85% is not recovered – lost […]