E-Waste Recycling

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  • This page goes over the complex and dangerous process that is E-Waste Recycling
  • Not too relevant to OSE now, main thing is give waste to proper facilities that follow all of the "best practices" and are approvedby the Basel Action Network


  • This needs some work, the gold removal is heavily documented in even non-academic sources, the removal of other elements is less mentioned (may need to dig for papers when such data is needed)

Sorting + Dissasembly

  • This tends to be the most labor intensive
  • In the optimal system it also would include Refurbishent and donation / sale at a lower cost
    • Also certain "obsolete tech" may have value to enthusiasts, or as movie props (both of which have established business models (add sources in) )
  • The various donated items are sorted via product type (monitors, cell phones, smart phones, computer towers, etc), then on quality/state (ie if it can be recovered/reused, or if it is truely beyond repair)
  • Usable small componets such as capacitors and batteries can be removed and refurbished/reused as well during the dissasembly phase
  • Beyond this step the process begins to function similar to Ore Processing


  • This can be done in a seperated manner, and some things may require removal, but typically all "unredemables" are dumped into a Hammermill and/orShredder
  • The resulting shreds are then sourted into Magnetic Metals, Non-Magnetic Metals, and Plastics/Composites
  • The Plastic Recyclables and Composite Materials are sent to the corrosponding facilites/workflows
  • The other streams are sent into the next phases of the e-waste processing workflow


  • The remaining materials, typically in the form of shreds are put into a Leaching workflow
  • Cyanide Leaching is common to remove gold (from electrical connectors/paths)


  • Electrolysis of the leaching solutions extracts the gold

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