Why the feared wave of solar panel waste may be smaller and arrive later than we expected

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

Researchers say improvements in solar panels mean we need to change expectations about when they’ll need to be repurposed or recycled.

Global e-waste emissions jump 53 percent between 2014 and 2020

Read the full story at Waste360.

The proliferation of electronic devices has contributed to the accelerated surge of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in e-waste, according to a new study in Circular Economy. E-waste GHG emissions rose 53 percent between 2014 and 2020. Researchers anticipate e-waste will annually generate 852 million metric tons of CO2 compounds by 2030.

Print, recycle, repeat: Scientists demonstrate a biodegradable printed circuit

Read the full story from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

According to the United Nations, less than a quarter of all U.S. electronic waste gets recycled. In 2021 alone, global e-waste surged at 57.5 million tons, and only 17.4% of that was recycled. 

Some experts predict that our e-waste problem will only get worse over time, because most electronics on the market today are designed for portability, not recyclability. Tablets and readers, for example, are assembled by gluing circuits, chips, and hard drives to thin layers of plastic, which must be melted to extract precious metals like copper and gold. Burning plastic releases toxic gases into the atmosphere, and electronics wasting away in landfill often contain harmful materials like mercury, lead, and beryllium.

But now, a team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have developed a potential solution: a fully recyclable and biodegradable printed circuit. The researchers, who reported the new device in the journal Advanced Materials, say that the advance could divert wearable devices and other flexible electronics from landfill, and mitigate the health and environmental hazards posed by heavy metal waste.  

Nigerian company turns e-waste into solar powered lanterns

Read the full story at Reuters.

Quadloop, a Nigerian based company, has found a way to turn electronic waste into solar lanterns and other products which will have a lower impact on the environment.

Dozie Igweilo, founder of Quadloop, told Reuters he came up with the idea after discovering a market for affordable, locally produced electrical goods, for which components were not available in the country.

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.

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.

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.

Saving e-waste scraps

Read the full story from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Momentum Technologies have piloted an industrial-scale process for recycling valuable materials in the millions of tons of e-waste generated annually in the United States.

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?

Comcast partners with Echo Environmental for coax recycling program

Read the full story at Multichannel News.

New tech will turn majority of cable company’s coax waste into reusable materials.