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E-scrap market expanding

Efficiently extracting precious metals is key to profitability for recyclers.

The growing market for e-scrap shows no signs of slowing as virtually everything these days has some sort of tech component.

Recycling electronics reduces harmful waste and chemicals. It also helps meet the demand for the materials needed to produce new electronics.

For example, our cars utilize more electronics today than they did 10 years ago, like safety and blind-spot detection devices. Technology will become even more prevalent as automobile manufacturers like Tesla use it to support their self-driving, electric vehicles.

Here are just a few examples of how the market for e-scrap is expanding.

  • The amount of global e-waste is expected to grow by 8 percent per year. (The Balance)

  • The value of e-scrap generated globally is projected to grow at about 23 percent per year, reaching more than $76 billion by 2022. (Recycling Today)

  • The e-scrap recycling industry provides a boost of approximately $20.6 billion, including exports of $1.45 billion, to the U.S. economy and employs more than 45,000 full-time employees. (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries)

There is a downside, however. Extracting the precious metals that are inside electronics is difficult. This is where the relationship between the recyclers and reclaimers is important.

  • The best way to make the process of recycling electronics as smooth as possible is to have a useful strategy for dismantling.

  • In order to receive the highest yield, you must prepare the materials first and separate if necessary. This can be heavily labor intensive so you have to make sure that what you are purchasing is worth the labor cost.

  • Some of the e-scrap contains other recyclable materials such as steel, aluminum, and wires. These materials should be removed first and recycled separately.

Recycling electronics also can be quite hazardous if not done properly. It is crucial to learn about what materials and chemicals can be harmful in order to prevent danger to employees. Some examples of these chemicals are beryllium, cadmium, and mercury.

You might be able to use thermal reduction to reduce your labor costs for extracting precious metals. This process is efficient and less harmful to the environment as a whole.

However, if you are not near a thermal reduction facility it can be quite costly to send all of your e-scrap to them. E-scrap overall can be a profitable venture but the benefits must outweigh the costs.


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Our Story

We started 20 years ago as Web4Minds, a software development firm that provides custom solutions to meet our clients’ needs. One such client came to us four years ago to develop software to manage their scrapyards.

Upon receiving feedback from the client and working with dozens of others, we realized that we had created a product that stood out among the competition, so we brought our solution to the marketplace as Scrapyard Pro. It is now used at recycling centers across the country, by clients ranging from single-location owners to regional operators.