To avoid contributing to this irresponsible practice, use a recycler that is part of the “e-Steward” network, meaning they don’t export to places like Pakistan or China, and they follow other high standards.
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From artstechnica: The global manufacturing of electric and electronic devices requires a total of $21 billion in gold and silver every year, yet less than 15 percent of these valuable metals are recovered from electronic waste, according to representatives at the UN-backed initiative, Solving the E-waste Problem (StEP).
“Abington Reldan Metals is thrilled to have achieved this distinction,” said Howard Steinberg, Managing Member of Abington Reldan Metals, LLC. “We are committed to assuring that our operation makes a positive contribution by upholding the … e-Stewards Standards for Responsible Recycling & Reuse of Electronics.”