"Dell’s gold reclamation service has a 99% lower environmental impact than traditionally mined gold.”
The computer manufacturer Dell is making a valuable contribution to the circular economy in more ways than one, potentially improving its environment impact while also being lead supplier for a new range of eco-jewellery.
The technology giant has teamed up with jewellery designer Nikki Reed, using a gold recovery system to create the Circular Collection, a range of jewellery that includes 14- and 18-carat gold rings, earrings and cufflinks. There won’t be a shortage of supplies as, according to Dell, the amount of gold and silver thrown away every year in the US from unwanted phones alone is estimated to add up to more than £40m ($60m).
Speaking about the efficiency of extracting gold from electrical components, Jeff Clarke, Dell vice chairman, said: “When you think about the fact that there is up to 800x more gold in a ton of motherboards than a ton of ore from the earth, you start to realise the enormous opportunity we have to put valuable materials to work.”
The sustainable design movement between Dell (@Dell) and Reed (@NikkiReed_I_Am) – named Bayou with Love – was announced at this year’s CES 2018 (@CES) technology show that took place in Las Vegas, where both parties explained the huge amount of precious metal that was going unclaimed with the dumping of e-waste. The gold that Dell harvests won’t just be seen on wrists, necks and fingers of but will also be given a new life when it is used in in motherboards in the company’s latest machine, the Latitude 5285. Billed by Dell as an industry-first, the pilot will begin this spring and follows the successful completion of a largescale feasibility study.
Wherever the gold is used, the practice of stripping gold from electrical components is potentially good news for the environment because it could reduce the reliance on the gold mined in the traditional way that uses noxious chemicals that can pollute waterways and poison the local environment. According to a study by Trucost, the company that explores the hidden costs for companies using unsustainable resources, Dell’s gold reclamation service has a 99% lower environmental impact than traditionally mined gold.
Bio-Based World News reported last year on the German bio company, Brain, which has developed a sustainable solution to extracting gold from electrical components, isolating and retaining nearly 100% of precious metals. The company’s BioXtractor system is housed in a transportable unit that breaks down computer hardware such as microchips and circuit boards using a environmentally safe biological method.
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