January 27, 2011

Urban Mining and E-Waste by Eco Warrior Jeweller

photo by JohnJMatlock

Urban mining is a term used to described the process of reclaiming the compounds and elements in building, products and waste. Apparently,  1 gramme of gold can be reclaimed from 41 mobile phones.  Unfortunately, precious metals and base metals are needed more and more in the production of technological gadgets. Electronic goods nowadays have a life span of only a couple of years before they become e-waste, as the technology advances so fast the consumer feels the need, for different reasons to constantly update his collection of electronic gadgets. The problem is not going to go away, we need to recycle all electronic items. We should be recycling all our waste but that is not technically possible, but even more importantly we should be seriously tackling the issue of packaging, and consumerism, which in the past 25 years has increased to near unsustainable levels.

photo by manbeastextraodinaire

The recycling of electronics is not a solution to the growing problem as there are many hazardous elements that need to be extracted in adequate conditions to protect the worker. At the moment too much of the e-waste is being dumped on the developing countries to be "recycled" in more often than not primitive conditions . Greenpeace is working on trying to bring awareness to people, but it is an issue that we should all address when buying a new phone, computer, MP3, etc.

This article was originally posted by Laurette, author of Eco Warrior Jeweller. It was also reposted by Urban Mining.
Another post by the Eco Warrior Jeweller:

The Impact and Pollution of Gold Mining in the Amazon Rainforest

Laurette sells jewelry made from recycled, upcycled, salvaged and found materials in her shop, Becycle, on Etsy. She is also a member of Upcyclers, an Etsy team of artists whose members Love 2 Upcycle.

Wine and Apple Juice bottles were used to make these beads.


  1. Very very interesting...it makes you think.

  2. Gorgeous bracelet! Inspiring post!