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Dowa Eco-System – Jewellery from E-waste : DigInfo

http://movie.diginfo.tv DigInfo News

Electrical and electronic equipment waste contains significant amounts of metal. DOWA ECO-SYSTEM has found an innovative way to use this waste by producing jewelry from the metal.
Interview with Yuko Hayashi, Environmental Solution Dept., DOWA ECO-SYSTEM:
„In process of mining ore such as this, trees are cut down, mountains are leveled and rivers are polluted. On top of that the carbon footprint is increased with the material being delivered to Japan, this is before the metal has even gone through the manufacturing process. In this so called E-waste, there are a lot of metals inside these electronic devices. It is said that the amount of metal in a cell phone amounts to around sixty times more than in ore. So we can produce metal, which is the same quality as mined metal, in Japan, just by collecting metal from these devices, without having to cut down trees or flatten mountains. The world’s gold deposits are predicted to last for only another 19 years, but we will try to prolong the longevity of these gold deposits for as long as possible by adopting this type of recycling system.“
Recycling 100% of the metal obtained from ore can reduce the environmental load to one three-hundredth the load created by mining. For example, around 10 tons of ore are needed to make a gold ring that weighs 10 grams, but only 0.037 tons are needed if the gold from cell phones is recycled.
DOWA ECO-SYSTEM recovers 17 different kinds of metals from recycled waste and this year added a new recycling incinerator to enable the recycling of two additional types of metals.
In the recycling process, these metals are first shredded and melted at a high temperature of 1000 degrees Celsius and electrically refined. The first metal to be extracted in the process is bronze, and then the remaining material is precipitated and separated to extract silver. The last metal to be recovered is gold.
The heat generated by the incinerator is thermally processed and reused as electricity to power the processing equipment.
Interview with Yuko Hayashi, Environmental Solution Dept., DOWA ECO-SYSTEM:
„The world’s gold deposits are predicted to last for only another 19 years, but we will try to prolong the longevity of these gold deposits for as long as possible by adopting this type of recycling system.“
DOWA ECO-SYSTEM intends to set up two eco-recycling plants in the near future, one in northern Japan and the other in the major recycling area of Akita, and also hopes to expand its recycling activities worldwide.