E-Waste & Why it's a Problem

Did You Know?

  • Electronic waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world

  • One-third of the silver and copper mined each year goes into the production of electronics

  • More than 80% of the world's e-waste goes into landfills

  • More than a billion cell phones are sold each year

  • Recycling metals requires 10% of the energy of mining 

At Silver Statues we engage in business practices that support environmental sustainability and social responsibility, building a better future for ourselves and the generations who follow. That is why we have chosen to work with e-waste processing plants who specialize in reclaiming precious metals and rare earth elements from e-waste.

What is E-Waste & Why is it a Problem?

E-waste is a term that is used to describe electronic waste – including obsolete or broken mobile phones, laptops, tablets and televisions. When these items no longer function, most of us throw them in the garbage. A much smaller percentage of us send them to be recycled. Around the world, we produce as much as 50 million tons of e-waste each year, and in the US alone, 80% ends up in land-fill sites. Around 13% of the world's e-waste is directed to developing countries, such as China and India, for processing.

One of the main concerns about how e-waste is handled is environmental contamination. When e-waste is disposed of in landfills or recycled using inadequate processing techniques, heavy metals and other pollutants can seep into the earth and filter into waterways. These harmful substances have been shown, in numerous studies, to have a significant negative impact on flora and fauna. Humans also pay the price, especially those in developing countries, who work in or live near poorly regulated e-waste processing plants. One particularly thought-provoking example is of the so-called “Electronic Waste Village” of Guiyu in China. Around 88% of the village's population suffer from health conditions caused by their exposure to contaminants.

How Can Responsible Recycling of E-Waste Help?

Specialist e-waste recyclers offer an effective solution to environmental concerns while taking advantage of what the United States Geological Society describes as a “treasure trove of valuable metals”  hidden in e-waste. At these facilities, technicians use plasma furnace technology to process end of life electronic items, extracting the precious metals without releasing toxins into the atmosphere.

Recycling silver from waste electronics offers other benefits too. According to research published in Science Direct, “By 2240, all silver mines will be nearly empty and exhausted.” By using silver from e-waste, we are helping to conserve the limited resources available. It is important to note too, that mining silver uses more energy than recycling silver, and can have serious environmental and social costs.

Does Silver Recycled From E-Waste Have the Same Value?

One question that many people ask is whether silver sourced from e-waste has the same value as mined silver. The answer, quite simply, is yes. The process used to obtain recycled silver does not reduce the quality or purity of this precious metal in any way. When you purchase a silver statue from us, each product carries a guaranteed minimum silver content.