The person who found gold in your computer-NZ Herald

2021-11-13 06:48:09 By : Ms. Mary wen

Goodman Property’s regular series of articles discussing environmental sustainability and how New Zealand companies are working hard to achieve our goals.

Question: Waste, Environmental Impact, Global Warming and Climate Change Expert: Marty Hoffart, chairman of the New Zealand Zero Waste Network, said that New Zealand only recycles 28% of the 2.5 million to 4 million tons of waste it generates every year-despite places like this in Raglan And Waiheke up to 70%. He said that there is not enough "circular economy... if we make something and we can restore it and make it again and again, it means we don’t have to go back and extract more from the earth, it’s really us Where all the damage was caused". Recycling and recycling materials such as cans and bottles means that we can save up to 97% of the energy needed to create new energy.

_____________________________________________________________________ Recycling e-waste can not only remove toxins from the world, but it can also be profitable.

Patrick Moynihan knows how to extract gold, silver, platinum, palladium and copper from your computer.

Moynihan is the managing director of Computer Recycling Ltd, an e-waste recycling and processing center in Auckland that specializes in technology reuse and computer recycling-including almost everything with a power plug.

His business has a dual function; it can make a profit while helping our environment avoid the harmful hardware accumulated in the electronic age. But he said that although his company processes more than 1,000 tons of e-waste each year, an increase of 40% compared to when he acquired the company four years ago, and it processes 4 million kilograms a year, almost all e-waste (98% of them) will still be Landfilled. all.

"You export printed circuit boards to a large refinery in [Belgium], and then extract gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper... From a batch of 10,000 kilograms of printed circuit boards, you may be able to extract 2 kilograms Gold, 10 kilograms of silver and two and a half tons of copper.

"If you can do this," he said, "you can drastically reduce the amount of electronic products that enter the landfill and recycle large amounts of reusable materials."

Moynihan's company needs "anything with a plug-such as a TV, a microwave, a refrigerator, a computer, a laptop, a mobile phone, a washing machine, a dryer".

"They said that 98% of e-waste is eventually sent to landfills in New Zealand. This is just a huge landfill. What I want to do is to make it really easy for companies and the public to find us and use a simple The way to dispose of e-waste is indeed cost-effective-working with us is usually cheaper than disposing of e-waste in a landfill."

Landfills are a big problem: "It [e-waste] is the fastest-growing urban waste stream and the most toxic," he said. "E-waste contains mercury and cadmium, which is a nuisance... it can be leached from landfills and into the groundwater. This is not a good thing for the environment."

Companies like him are part of the answer. “Overseas, this is a huge business, especially in the US and Australia. This type of thing has great value. New Zealand is still a bit behind the times because there is no regulation.”

Moynihan said that product management is an important part of solving the e-waste problem. Computer manufacturers must pay customs duties for each item.

"Assume that a flat-screen TV only costs one dollar per kilogram; this money goes into a pool and redistributed to collection networks and recyclers. It can better amplify what happens with this material, and... you reduce the amount of waste. Buried.

"This is also good for manufacturers, because it means you won't let some backyard cowboys collect a bunch of things and export them to Congo."

He said there is one thing that ordinary New Zealanders can do to help-buy high-quality equipment instead of cheap IT equipment, which will soon fail and must be thrown away and handled properly.

"Buying better things-it's difficult, your budget is limited, but buying high-quality goods means you will greatly extend the life of the products you use. You can buy cheap things and say, oh yes, So it deceived for a while, and a period of 12 months, it gave up the ghost.

Another important player in the recycling field is Phoenix Metal Recyclers' Eldon Reeve and Hilary West-Reeve, a full-service professional scrap metal recycling company with 9 yards across the country and a network all over the South Pacific. They recycle ferrous metals (steel and iron) and non-ferrous metals (copper, brass, aluminum, lead, stainless steel and lead-acid batteries).

Metal is 100% recyclable; it is permanent and can be recycled repeatedly-recycled metal emits 80% less carbon dioxide than raw material production. Recycling 1 ton of steel can save 1.5 tons of iron ore, thereby protecting natural habitats and forests.

Compared with mining and refining primary iron ore, recycling steel also uses 70% less energy, and recycling metal can avoid sending permanent materials to landfills. Eldon Reeve said that their company ranks first in New Zealand's recycling of car batteries and urges people to stick to AA and AAA batteries because a new recycling service is about to be launched.

The global push for electric vehicles (EV) is also supporting the recycling industry, he said: “They are indeed a hot topic at the moment, because the construction of new electric vehicles requires a lot of copper, so the demand for copper has always been high-and I I think the next five years will be huge.

"Lightweight materials like aluminum are used a lot in automobile manufacturing-and then there are some things in our house-aluminum joinery, a huge user of recycled aluminum. There are many products and there is a great demand for them.

Phoenix exports metals to buyers throughout Asia, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and China: "If we talk about the past 12 months, we will have approximately 75 or 80,000 tons of metal." Business, there are about 20,000 tons of concrete and wood and other and glass recyclables. We are talking about some pretty big numbers," Eldon said.

Ordinary New Zealanders can help by bringing their metal utensils and similar items to a metal recycling station, for example, when the washing machine is scrapped.

Footprint: Business Sustainability is a new podcast series from Newstalk ZB and Goodman Property. Episode 3: The recycling is now over.