Our devices are precious to us. Maybe not in a Gollum-to-the-ring sort of precious, but our gadgets are expensive, useful, and quite honestly necessary for most of our day-to-day routines. We value them. 

Our tech is actually valuable in another, less obvious way. Almost every device we own, from smartphone to desktop, contains rare and valuable earth metals, including gold and silver. 

We’re not talking about a small amount either. For every million phones that are recycled instead of being sent to the landfill, the EPA estimates 772 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold can be recovered.

Each year, the world discards billions of dollars’ worth of these precious materials through what we call our “E-Waste”. 

There are a number of businesses looking for a way to keep our old devices out of the trash.

Apple is experimenting with ways to disassemble their old products to harvest and re-use the raw materials inside of them. 

NoWa has been making jewelry from discarded smartphones for a few years, utilizing E-waste collected across Africa. 

Even the Olympic committee has announced the 2020 medals will be made from recycled gadgets. 

Recycling is only a small part of the solution to the environmental impact of our technology, but mainstream companies and organizations are recognizing the problem and shifting their practices towards a more sustainable future. 

And that is good news.

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