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Digging precious metals out of your old phone

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 Geology   |   Physics   |   Science
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E-waste is more than phones and laptops. There’s gold, silver, copper, and lots of other precious metals powering your electronics, and that makes for some valuable “e-waste”. And a recent study proposed that it’s now more cost-effective to dig minerals out of old electronics than out of the Earth. We crack open some old tech to see where these metals are hiding, and find out just how hard it is to reclaim them safely.

Clarification: in citing India, China, and South Africa as suffering from growing e-waste problems, we didn’t mention that those countries are also producing record amounts of their own e-waste, in addition to anything being imported from other countries. E-waste from all sources is on the rise, forcing governments to figure out how to deal with it safely and efficiently.

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