Monday, 16 April 2012

Weeeeeeeeee - Rare metals lost in binned products

Precious and rare metals worth millions are thrown away in the UK
each year in scrapped consumer goods such as old mobile phones

Metals ranging from gold to cobalt and rare earth elements such as neodymium are used in electronic equipment including phones, laptops, headphones, rechargeable batteries and TVs - but are lost when the consumer goods end up in landfill.

It is estimated that between now and 2020, the UK will throw away 12 million tonnes of electronic equipment, a quarter of which will be IT equipment and other goods which contain around 63 tonnes of palladium and 17 tonnes of iridium.

The amount of palladium lost would be worth £1 billion on today's market, while the iridium would be worth £380 million.

And almost a quarter of the consumer goods thrown away could be fixed and resold in their current form, worth a potential £200 million a year.

China produces 95% of "rare earth metals", and the EU, US and Japan this week took a complaint over the country's export restrictions to the World Trade Organisation.

Unstable countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo produce key materials including cobalt, which is used in phone, laptop and digital camera batteries.

at the end of the day, if it has a wheelie bin symbol on it, please be responsible, dont just bit it, take to the tidy tip on your next visit - billin wasted and poisons being put in the groud... isnt it common sense?

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