An anonymous reader writes "We've heard before about the problem of e-waste — computers and other high-tech gadgets that are tossed into landfills or shipped off to third-world countries when they reach end-of-life. But this article makes the case that there's a huge business opportunity here, with billions of dollars going to waste in the form of metals that could be reclaimed from these old and broken devices. 'At current rates of production, $16 billion (or 320 tons) in gold and $5 billion (7500 tons) in silver are put into media tablets, smartphones, computers, and other devices annually. With growth in demand for smartphones and media tablets showing little sign of diminishing in the next few years, the flow of gold and silver from deposit to waste facilities is only likely to accelerate. ... StEP claims that, in developing nations, 50 percent of the gold in e-waste is lost due to "crude dismantling processes" and only 25 percent of the remainder is recoverable due to the rudimentary technology to hand. In contrast, 25 percent of gold is lost to electronics dismantling in developed nations, and modern facilities are able to recover 95 percent of the rest.'"
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