There’s Gold In Them Thar Sewage Pipes, Swiss Researchers Say

Read the full story from NPR.

In Ticino, Switzerland, the streets aren’t paved with gold. But the sewage pipes are packed with it.

And across the country as a whole, some $3 million worth of gold and silver is thrown out in wastewater every year.

That is according to Swiss researchers who evaluated 64 municipal wastewater treatment plants across the country. Scientists have long known that small amounts of the valuable metals can wind up mixed in with sewage. In Switzerland, the researchers found, the small quantities add up — to more than 6,600 pounds of silver and nearly 100 pounds of gold, the researchers estimate.

In most cases, it would be so expensive to extract and recycle that it wouldn’t make economic sense — recovery would be “scarcely worthwhile,” as the researchers put it.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s