Mining rare-earth metals … from your junk drawer!

What a coincidence! Was just talking with a client about drawers full of old cell phones etc. Turns out they are needed STAT!! We can all be eco heroes. 😉

“Rare Earth Metals May Be Lurking in Your Junk Drawer

“And that’s a good thing. They’re critical for renewable energy, and a new study says recovering them from old cellphones and other waste could help meet the demand. …

” … reusing or recycling rare earth metals from old cellphones, hard drives, electric motors and turbines could meet as much as 40 percent of the demand for the metals in the United States, China and Europe by 2050. …

“The idea of reusing or recycling rare earths isn’t new. In the 1980s, Japanese researchers coined the term urban mining to describe collecting rare metals from discarded appliances and electronic devices, rather than from the earth.”

Read the New York Times article here:

PS. I would further go on to suggest that we can rather easily reduce demand for these materials by 60%. I say this based on my observation of how much excess stuff we buy and keep around, often unused. Therefore, if it’s true that the stuff in our drawers can meet 40% of current demand, maybe it could meet 100% of future demand in a society that has made downward adjustments appropriate to the carrying capacity of ecosystems, and the well-being of people and other living beings all around the planet.