Dell has a new initiative - mining old or broken laptops for gold and turning the recycled metal into jewelry.
The tech giant wants to encourage recycling of old electronic devices and it's teaming up with actress Nikki Reed to start a new jewelry line, which will use only recycled materials for its products.
Small amounts of gold can be found in any device in your home, as the yellow metal acts as a great conduit of electricity.
Traces of the precious metal can be found in motherboards. And if you have several old devices lying around, you could have enough for a ring or earrings. More precisely, about six motherboards could potentially give a consumer one piece of jewelry, Dell said.
The data is quite staggering - every million recycled cell phones can be turned into 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The new venture between Dell and Nikki Reed will produce 14- and 18-carat gold rings, earrings and cufflinks, according to the announcement made during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
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All the items will be sold online via Reed's eco-friendly Bayou with Love brand. Prices will vary from $78 to $348 for various products.
In a move to boost recycling, Dell is also providing new buyers with free shipping of old devices. Another strategy employed by the company is giving people a Dell gift card in exchange for old electronics.
Over $20 Billion Worth Of Gold Thrown Away As E-Waste In 2016
E-waste is an unresolved problem for many countries, as not a lot of people recycle their old devices properly and the discarded items end up in landfills with regular household garbage.
A recent UN-backed report, said that $22.2 billion worth of gold and $1 billion worth of silver was thrown away worldwide in 2016 in the form of electronic waste.
That year, electronic waste was at a record 45 million metric tons worldwide. "This is equivalent of almost 4,500 Eiffel towers," stated the joint study released by the U.N. University (UNU), the International Telecommunication Union, and the International Solid Waste Association.
The recycling potential is massive here, with $22.2 billion worth of gold (500 metric tons) alone simply thrown away on a global scale, the report calculated.
Consumeristic society was blamed for such wastefulness: "There has been much debate and criticism of the growing 'throwaway society', characterized by consumerism and the trend to throw away and buy something new rather than keep and repair," said the report titled 'The Global E-waste Monitor 2017'.
By Anna Golubova for www.kitco.com.