REMADE announces new technology license for e-waste recycling

Read the full news release at Waste360.

The REMADE Institutea 154-member public-private partnership established by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) with an initial investment of $140 million, today announced a new technology license involving a technological innovation capable of recovering precious metals from used electronics more easily and cost-effectively.

The innovation, developed with REMADE support, is part of a research and development project first funded by the Institute in 2020. The R&D project, “Low-Concentration Metal Recovery from Complex Streams Using Gas-Assisted Microflow Solvent Extraction (GAME),” is still in progress and is led by Wencai Zhang, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering at Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, and Aaron Noble, Ph.D., an associate professor in the same department. Phinix, LLC, is the industry partner on the project. REMADE’s tech team oversees the project, ensuring it meets the Institute’s and DOE’s technological milestones.

Good laptop packaging design can reduce waste and help our tech necks

Read the full story at Treehugger.

This is a little post about a little box that comes with a little computer. But the box tells a big story about packaging design.

Computers are high-value products and need solid, durable packaging. I keep all the boxes my Apple products come in (recycled and FSC content) and stack them up to raise my notebook for Zoom calls—I don’t want people looking up my nose. But it is all sort of ad-hoc.

Now, Taiwan computer company ASUS, which makes the thin and expensive ExpertBook B9, is changing the game.

Dumpster diver: How I find rare-earth metals in industrial landfill

Read the full story in Nature.

PhD student Gianluca Torta contributes to green recycling by extracting rare-earth metals from industrial landfill for reuse in electric motors.

Samsung will let you fix your own phone, if you dare

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Samsung said this week that customers who want to try their hands at fixing gadgets can now buy genuine smartphone and tablets parts from repair resource website iFixit, as well as from Samsung’s Experience stores across the country.

The push to make at least some of its gadgets more easily repairable comes amid a broader national conversation about the right to fix the products we buy, spurred mostly by heightened scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission beginning last year. Since then, Apple launched a self-service repair program of its own, while Google partnered with iFixit to offer tools and genuine parts to would-be tinkerers.

But like some of those other self-service programs, Samsung’s approach comes with a few quirks.

Electronics are built with death dates. Let’s not keep them a secret.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Our analysis of 14 popular consumer devices found most could stop working in 3 to 4 years because of irreplaceable batteries. Here’s how we get the tech industry to design products that last longer — and do less damage to the environment.

Tech’s e-waste problems

Read the full story at Clean Technica.

Tech surrounds us and beckons us to the newest and best products that companies have to offer. What we don’t consider in our upgrades is the damage to people and the environment these devices involve. What’s the solution?

Microsoft publishes independent review of its repair policies

Read the full story from E-Scrap News.

Requiring consumers to drive to repair shops can completely negate the greenhouse gas benefits of repairing the devices, according to an analysis commissioned by one of the world’s biggest tech companies.

Instead, mailing in broken devices and ensuring they don’t travel via air freight is a lower-impact approach, consulting firm Oakdene Hollins found.

“If end users drive their broken devices to a repair facility, even over a short distance, GHG emissions may increase rapidly. The study showed that ‘mail-to’ services offered an order of magnitude lower GHG emissions impact even over much larger transport distances and, therefore, should be encouraged,” according to the document, titled “An assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions and waste impacts from improving the repairability of Microsoft devices.”

Apple is now using more recycled products than ever – even gold

Read the full story at Tech Radar.

Apple has expanded the use of recycled materials and rare metals in the iPhone, Mac, and other devices as part of its efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its products.

For the first time Apple has introduced certified recycled gold into its supply chain and has doubled the use of recycled tungsten, rare earth elements and cobalt.

Whiz kids: New tool teaches kids sustainable electronics coding

Read the full story at Centered.

A new computer coding tool created by Northwestern University engineers is enabling kids to build and program sustainable, battery-free, energy-harvesting electronic devices. 

They based Battery-free MakeCode on the learn-to-code platform Microsoft MakeCode. The visual program makes learning easy by dragging and dropping pre-made code blocks — similar to the building block video game Tetris — to program electronic devices and create apps.

Apple suppliers double use of clean energy, avoiding 14 million tons of emissions

Read the full story at ESG Today.

Apple unveiled today significant progress to eliminate emissions across its value chain, announcing commitments from dozens of manufacturers in its supply chain to source clean energy for the production of Apple products, and investments in renewable energy to address the climate impact of the use of its products.