Saturday, July 29, 2006

There's Gold In Them Thar Smelly Hills

Patrick Atkins says there is plenty of aluminum in landfills — more aluminum than we can produce by mining ores. He is the director of energy innovation at Alcoa, a large aluminum manufacturing firm. He thinks the same is probably true of gold and copper, which are used in the circuit boards of computers and electronic gadgets. One ton of scrap from discarded PCs contains more gold than can be produced from 17 tons of gold ore--and humans throw away 20 million tons of electronic waste a year. Landfill mining is a fascinating sleeper of an idea that's actually been around for decades.
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