Dependence on Rare Earth Metals and Today’s Technical Device Recycling
March 27th, 2014 by
There has been a lot of discussion regarding China’s hold over the majority of the planet’s rare earth metals. Since China has the majority of these precious metals and they have become more and more unwilling to share them, the likelihood of a shortage for America is very real.
Beyond reminding manufacturers that this shortage may be coming, and asking that they don’t continue to overproduce their products, we need to find a way to hold on to the materials that we have.
Instead of consumers trashing their technical devices after a year or two when they begin to act up, it is important that everyone takes the time to recycle their devices. The task of recycling rare earth metals can be difficult since they are so deeply embedded into your devices, however this can not be a deterrent to recycling.
Asking manufacturers to launch programs for these devices would be a good way to battle the possible shortage of rare earth metals. If consumers are unable to remove the materials themselves, being able to return them to the manufacturers for recycling or refurbishing is a giant step towards keeping the materials that we already have. A few manufacturers have programs such as this, however here at Kurtz, we think that if this was the norm and not the exception, our dependence on China for these precious metals would be released.
What do you think? Do you have any additional ideas about how we can save or recycle rare earth metals?