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Metal reclamation and recycling of electronic waste

697 bytes added, 21:18, 14 November 2008
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* Electronic waste contains high concentrations of heavy metals, brominated flame retardants and other plastic additives that have proven adverse effects on humans. <small>Note: more information can be found at [[Electronic waste]].</small>
* The volume of electronic waste produced is high, and growing fast <ref>http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/manage.htm Accessed Nov. 11, 2008</ref>. In 2005, the United States alone disposed of was at least 1.5 million tons of electronic waste, and at most one quarter of that was recycled <ref>http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/docs/fact7-08.pdf Accessed Nov. 11, 2008</ref>. The situation is similar in Canada, with more than 71 000 tonnes of waste being disposed of in 2005, with just 26% being recycled <ref>http://www.ec.gc.ca/wmd-dgd/default.asp?lang=En&n=F3852FB1-1 Accessed Nov. 11, 2008.</ref>. In the province of Ontario, Canada, the percentage recycled in 2004 was just 2% <ref>http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/news/2007/061201.php</ref>.
* Discarding recoverable metals is energy inefficient. The energy savings possible by recovering metals are high compared to mining new material. The energy savings for aluminum is 95%, copper 85%, steel 74%, lead 65%, and zinc 60%. Recovering other materials such and paper and plastics can reduce energy usages by 64% and 80%, respectively <ref>Nnorom, I. et Al., 2007, "Overview of electronic waste (e-waste) management practices and legislations, and their poor applications in the developing countries," Resources, Conservation and Recycling, '''2008''', (52), p. 5.</ref>. The worst case scenario eliminates only the ore extraction and transportation steps, which are both energy intensive.
== Materials involved ==
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