Green Points system: A revolutionary proposal

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Green points system

Several developed countries have a huge problem to dispose off the electronic waste generated in their countries. Even our own nation is developing at a fast pace and the major cities are producing several tons of electronic waste each day. We, the consumers don’t necessarily get anything after the device fails. We just throw it away! We should remember that these electronic devices contain extremely precious elements which once extracted can be recycled. One such precious element is GOLD.

The price of gold today is so high that recycling the gold from old electronics is far more cost effective than to mine it. That is why several new companies have soared in recent years which concentrate on extracting precious elements such as gold, platinum and silver.

If these electronic equipments are sold to recycling companies for a fixed price, the consumer can be motivated to recycle all of their old electronic items. If at least one recycling station per city is constructed, about 80-90% of the electronic waste material can be recycled and prevented from entering the environment without being processed.

Since the end consumer benefits from such a task, he will naturally be motivated to recycle. The city outskirts and dumping grounds can be free from toxic electronic waste.

If the homeless people who live on the streets, facing difficulty of earning money are employed in a recycling factory having a simple job profile such as segregating various items from a huge chunk of waste material, they can also be able to have some financial income for themselves.

If the recycling industry sets a strong foothold in the country, more and more people would be interested in continuing the trend of recycling old electronic items. People working in the financial sector could be interested in investing their wealth in the recycling industry which can also be utilized by the respective factory owners to develop efficient recycling processes.

E-wate recycling for gold extraction

According to reports made by Directics Xilinx, the developed countries such as USA, and UK generate enormous amounts of electronic waste every month. These nations already have a problem of disposing this kind of waste. Several new recycling industries have already been up and running in those countries, but there is hardly any awareness and interest in the majority of the population residing in those nations. Because of such a condition, the respective governments transport the electronic waste to developing nations like China, Indonesia, India, etc. Since, the developing countries do not have advanced waste processing technologies; the ecosystem over there is affected in a negative manner which is responsible for ground water pollution (toxic substances seeping into the ground), land pollution (the land where it is disposed becomes toxic and cannot be used for agriculture). Developing countries already face a major problem of population explosion and there is a great need to feed such a growing population. But when large amounts of electronic waste are disposed of on this land, the land which could have been used for agriculture is no longer feasible for that purpose.

The uneven weather patterns in recent years have increased the shortage of water. More and more ground water reserves are exploited, but when electronic waste is disposed in certain region, a large ground water reserve get polluted, which once exploited can result in cancer cases.

Now, if the developing countries can recycle this enormous amount of electronic waste, it would be very economically profitable and environment friendly. The amount of precious elements extracted from this waste would be so huge that there can be a major cut in money used for importing gold.

There would be other metals like Copper, platinum, silver, aluminium, palladium and tin and some quantity of mild steel.

FACTS

From the research done, I have found out that approx. 300 g of Gold can be extracted from 1Ton of electronic waste, which equals to nearly 16000 USD at today’s price!!! (http://www.metalprices.com/FreeSite/metals/cu/cu.asp)

Copper extracted from 1Ton of electronic waste is about 190 KG on average which results in 1300$ at rate of 3.83$ per pound of copper. (http://www.metalprices.com/FreeSite/metals/cu/cu.asp)

THIS article was selected in the Schieder Electric’s Go Green In the City Contest 2012.

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Salil is an electronics enthusiast working on various RF and Microwave systems. In his free time he writes on the blog, talks over ham radio or builds circuits. He has Yaesu FT2900R VHF transceiver, FT450D HF transceiver and a TYT UV8000E Handheld transceiver.

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