Precious metals like gold, silver, aluminum, and platinum are non-renewable resources that must be extracted from the earth. Because there is no renewable resource for metals, the next best way to recover precious metals is by recycling. Precious metals can be refined and purified to restore their original quality and be used in new products like they are new. Precious metal refining companies recover metal to begin the recycling process and bring the metals back into circulation.
E-waste, or electronic waste, is the unused technology that still holds precious metals. Precious metals like palladium, platinum, and gold are all used in the making of many electronics. These can be products like cell phones, computers, televisions, and video game consoles.
Precious metals have proven to be very useful in making circuit boards and other electronic components of this technology. This helps technology evolve, but becomes problematic with the short lifespan of this technology. Cell phones often come out with updated versions, along with computers and televisions, leaving the older versions obsolete.
When technological devices become unusable, or simply unwanted, they still hold precious metals that could be recycled and used elsewhere. This is why it is important to recycle e-waste.
Many companies have started e-waste recovery programs. Unused devices may sit in a home for years because the owner doesn’t want to throw them away but doesn’t know how to recycle them.
Companies like Best Buy, Sprint, and Staples have made precious metal recovery programs so that recycling e-waste can be easy and accessible. These companies welcome people to drop off their unused technology so that it can be recycled. These products could include cell phones, computers, printer ink cartridges, and rechargeable batteries.
It is difficult to find a product that holds precious metals but cannot be recycled and refined. E-waste recovery is a broad term for any electronic device that has precious metals, it just needs to be handled properly with the correct equipment. Certain precious metal refineries specialize in refining specific metals. This lets them focus on using the right methods, and processes so that the metal is refined to its highest quality.
Metals like gold and silver are treated differently than metal like platinum. Smelting Gold and silver have a specific smelting process that draws out their impurities, while platinum has a smelting process and goes through flotation separation. Recovery and refining of certain metals may be limited to certain refining companies, but there is always a resource that can recycle any type of precious metals.
Precious metals are often exposed to high temperatures so that the precious metals will separate from other materials, but this process has to be done correctly. If this process is done by open-air burning or acid baths, it would expose the workers to harmful substances.
Refining e-waste incorrectly can release toxic materials into the environment and expose workers to lead, mercury and arsenic. This can bring irreversible health effects. Precious metal recovery must be limited to refineries that have the correct equipment, processes, and training to handle the toxic materials with e-waste.
Precious metal recovery companies have the equipment and processes necessary to recover and recycle precious metals. These companies recover precious metals from individuals that send e-waste, from manufactures that have inevitable precious metal wastes, from extraction companies, and from brands that have recovery programs.
Once recovery programs have collected the products like e-waste, the metals must be separated from other materials. The precious metals can be removed from the material with a magnet or hand stripping. Once the metal is retrieved, it is then shredded to be easily handled and smelted.
Precious metals are usually smelted in a furnace, where the precious metals separate from the other impurities. This makes it easy to retrieve the precious metals and discard the other impurities. This now-smelted precious metal is at a state where it can be assayed, and determine the worth of the precious metal once the process is complete.
Certain metals like gold, silver, and palladium can then proceed to chemical treatment. The smelted metal still holds impurities, and chemical treatment with a chemical like nitric acid will further separate the precious metal.
After the final treatment, the precious metals are fully refined to their highest quality and strength. This means that the precious metal is ready for its final step. The metal is brought to its melting point and reshaped for its next stage of life.
E-waste is one of the highest resources for recycling precious metals. Precious metals are a non-renewable resource, making their further extraction from the earth increasingly scarce. Extraction of precious metals uses expensive equipment, is labor-intensive, and is a culprit to a high amount of carbon emissions. The technological uses of precious metals keep the demand high, but it doesn’t change the adverse effects that extraction has on the economy and environment.
Recycling E-waste keeps old pieces of technology out of landfills and meets the high demand for precious metals. Many people have e-waste, making it a common way that people can contribute positively to the environment.
Precious metal refineries are always looking for more metal to recycle. They collect old products holding precious metals, assay the precious metal content, and pay the giver the monetary value of the metal. This has a positive impact on the environment while giving the recycler money for their contribution.
The main goal for those that wish to recycle e-waste is to find the right metal refinery. A good metal refinery should be efficient and have fast precious metal recovery while being communicative about its process. Finding a precious metal refinery that is open and communicative shows their honesty, which is important to note so that their assays are trustworthy.
A precious metal refinery should have prompt payment, and be conscious of its environmental impact. Recycling e-waste is an important contribution to the economy and environment, and a precious metal refinery’s environmental responsibility should reflect that.
Majestic Corporation has been a leading precious metals recycling, non-ferrous metals and Catalytic converter provider for around five decades. With a presence in the United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong and more, as well as a network of precious metals refineries around the world, we work with major customers and partners in a transparent and discrete manner and only offer the highest quality services at competitive prices.
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