High-tech waste recovery is one alternative to new mining. We created the below interactive map to draw attention to the burgeoning efforts at establishing urban mining across the globe. We include examples like Umicore (Belgian) and Veolia Environmental Services (French) who have initiated high-tech recycling programs that lessen the demand for new metals exploration. The European Rare Earths Recycling Network (EREAN) has also established the rare earths recovery network to train a generation of what they call “rare earthers”, including through their summer school. Finally, recycling efforts have been driven by NGO exposés of the toxic international trade of e-waste, including Greenpeace and the Basel Action Network (BAN). This sort of high-tech recycling constitutes a form of “urban mining”, or “affluent effluence”, as metals are recovered from the consumer products discarded by society.
Urban Mining Activities Map