E-waste often contains valuable precious metals like gold, copper, silver and rare earth minerals. We’re depleting the earth very quickly of non-renewable rare-earth minerals used to make electronics. So it’s important for the future of the industry to figure out how we can recycle and reuse what we have.
According to the UN, up to 90% of e-waste is dumped illegally which is a huge environmental hazard. “Globally, e-waste is the most traded hazardous waste on the planet,” Jim Puckett, the executive director of the Basel Action Network (BAN) said. The Basel Action Network is a non-profit working to regulate e-waste exports from industrialized societies to developing countries.
Some “electronic recyclers” will drop e-waste off in developing parts of Africa and Asia where they don’t have proper recycling processes. Workers are forced to smash and strip the electronics for their precious metals. In some places, gold is recovered by bathing circuit boards in Nitric and Hydrochloric Acid.
With little to no environmental regulations, these hazardous materials are left lying around which leave workers, the water, the soil, and the surrounding community at risk.
eRefresh is committed to operating with long-term sustainability in mind, always ensuring recycling is done ethically and up to international standards. Additionally, our business model ensures that any electronics we are unable to refresh and resell (sharing the profits with our customers of course!), we either donate to local communities in need, or recycle where necessary.