Gold without Gold Mining? Electronics Recycling Breaks New Ground
Middlebury, VT (PRWEB) July 20, 2004
Today, Good Point Recycling made public its new provisional patent for “recycled-content” gold wedding bands. The novel process will allow environmentalists to by-pass the single most polluting activity on the planet gold mining while economically undermining unsafe export practices.
According to the U.S EPA, gold mining in the USA produces more mercury pollution than any other activity. If you combine trash incineration, hazardous waste collection, and for that matter, even mercury mining, you will not account for half of the mercury emitted by gold mining and smelting.
Pollution from gold mining is a problem worldwide. According to USA’s Earthworks (aka Mineral Policy Center), gold mining is one of the world’s most destructive industries. “Producing a single gold ring generates on average 20 tons of mine waste,” notes Payal Sampat, International Campaign Director at Earthworks.
Good Point Recycling of Vermont hopes “recycled gold content” in wedding bands will be even bigger than recycled paper.
“We started off just looking at ways to make computer recycling less expensive, and that led us to recovery of gold and copper from the computers,” said Robin Ingenthron, founder of Good Point Recycling. “When we found out how much cleaner recycled gold is than mined gold, we were determined to do more and more of it.”
Good Point Recycling’s process may also prevent overseas dumping of electronics. According to the U.S Geological Institute, gold is one of the only materials which Asians consume the most of PER CAPITA. Ingenthron says that when women can’t inherit or pass on land, that parents give their daughters gold jewelry. This drives computer recycling overseas.
Gold recycling in Asia not pretty. Groups like Basel Action Network (ban.org) have published creepy images of Chinese laborers burning circuit board and soaking the sludge in acid. After panning the residue for gold, the poison is dumped at a riverside.
In order to get the gold in the computers, some Asian recyclers also accept dud cathode ray tubes (CRTs) as “Toxics Along for the Ride”. CRT disposal is regulated in the USA because of high lead content. Unscrupulous American recyclers sometimes offer the gold scrap cheaply just to get around the high costs of CRT recycling.
In 2003, Good Point Recycling published the “CRT Glass Recycling Test”, which shows environmentalists a “quick and clean way” to make sure their TV recycling company is really recycling. That test has been implemented by California Resource Recovery Association, and now by Basel Action Network. Dell Inc. of Austin, Texas, and National Recycling Coalition of Washington, DC, have already flown Ingenthron to 4 cities to speak about ethics in exporting.
By creating demand for gold recycling here in the USA, Ingenthron hopes to deal another blow to low-ball recyclers. “If Americans make this one environmental purchase, the free market will steer recycling back where it should be”, he asserts. A new “Gold Recycling Test” has been published on Good Point Recycling’s website, http://www.retroworks.com
Earthworks’ “No Dirty Gold” Campaign does not endorse any type of gold purchase, recycled or mined. Ingenthron agrees that source reduction is by far the best approach.
Good Point Recycling is owned and operated by American Retroworks Inc.
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