It would probably surprise most people to find out that common everyday items such as electronics contain precious metals. Expensive and rare metals can be found in almost every piece of modern technology. Computers, cellphones and other high-tech gadgets rely on the conductive and corrosion resistant properties of these minerals to work properly. A short list of the common minerals includes platinum, ruthenium, palladium and irridium. Gold and silver are commonly found in electronics as well.
Recovery of Precious Metals
These metals are very rare and found in extremely limited quantities throughout the world. The fact that our technology dependent world depends upon these substances and they are very limited there are many recycling centers harvesting them out of used equipment and electronics. Federal, State and most local governments require that the precious metals hidden in equipment and electronics be reused. There are many easy drop off locations for properly disposal of these items.
Can You Profit from Precious Metals Hidden in Equipment or Electronics?
Unless you have the resources to extract the metals you will have a hard time gathering enough of the metals to make it worthwhile. Donating used electronics is however very popular and many schools and charities are more than willing to take them off your hands. You may also be able to reuse the electronics that have precious metals in them and save yourself from buying new equipment needlessly.
Greener Products are Replacing Some Precious Metals
As technology progresses inventors and scientists are finding new ways to create electronics without precious metals. Some of the rare materials we currently use are considered dangerous to the environment and reducing metals such as iridium can prevent accumulation of dangerous waste at dump sites. Gold and silver will probably continue to be used however because although they are expensive and rare, they do not release radiation or leave toxins in the environment when discarded.