Electronics have become a part of our modern way of life, and with them, e-waste.

In the morning, you probably wake up to the beep of your alarm clock, check your phone for news and notifications, and then go to work which, for most people, involves a computer. Maybe after work, you head out for a run, tracking your distance with a smartwatch. Then, you wind down at the end of the day with some television. 

That’s a lot of technology!

Unfortunately, many Canadians don’t know what to do with their old electronics when they upgrade their phones or buy a new TV. So, we’ve put together some surprising statistics to get you in the know about the growing problem of e-waste and some potential solutions for handling this problem in the future. 

Here Are The E-Waste Stats You Need To Know

  1. Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent of the electricity used by 3,500+ homes in a year.
  2. For every one million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.
  3. It’s estimated that 49.8 million metric tons of e-waste was generated in 2018 and is growing at a rate of 3-5% annually.
  4. The EPA estimates that only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled.
  5. 1 in 10 Canadians admits to throwing e-waste straight into the garbage. 
  6. 35% of Canadians say their old electronics are gathering dust in their homes. 
  7. 14.5 million phones are discarded each year in Canada alone. 
  8. In 2016, $64.6 billion dollars worth of recoverable material was lost to landfills and incinerators.
  9. Every CRT TV contains between 4-8 pounds of lead. 
  10. There are 7.7 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide. 
  11. Gold rich ore deposits contain 1-2 grams of gold per metric ton. A metric ton of old phones would yield 300 grams of gold. 
  12. Only 1 out of 3 recyclers use best practices with regards to e-waste recycling. 

Since technology is a necessity for our daily lives, proper e-waste disposal is critical for a sustainable future. When e-waste is buried in landfills, toxic heavy metals leach into the environment and access to the reusable parts is lost. Further, precious metals are a non-renewable resource, so we should make an effort to recover them from discarded products when possible. 

The good news is that Sepro has worked with electronic recyclers to develop a process for safe e-waste disposal. This way, recyclers can recover metals like gold and silver and sell them at a profit, all the while generating waste streams that can be disposed of safely. 

Sepro’s E-waste Process

Crushed e-waste material is fed to a thermal treatment system where it becomes fracturable and toxins are safely removed. The e-waste is then mechanically disintegrated in a mill, and coarse copper is removed from the mill discharge as a clean product. 

The remaining material is then processed by Sepro’s gravity concentrators, which recover fine copper and precious metals like gold. The gravity concentration rejects are dewatered and disposed of as non-hazardous residue.

Contact Sepro Urban Mining

Clean and responsible handling of e-waste material is good for the environment and is also profitable. To add an additional source of revenue to your recycling centre or to improve your current metal recovery from e-waste, contact Sepro Urban Mining today.