E-waste is a major problem in our digital age. We produce more than 20 million tons of waste every year from our discarded old electronics, and only 12.5 percent of that ends up being re-used in other products. That’s a pretty abysmal number, especially considering that gold, silver, and other precious metals are in that waste. At CES this week, computer maker Dell announced a partnership that puts those metals to good use: e-waste jewelry.
Dell teamed up with actress Nikki Reed on a new jewelry line, “The Circular Collection” by Bayou with Love. Reed is a co-founder of the company. The Circular Collection includes 14- and 18-carat gold earrings, rings, and cufflinks made using gold recovered from Dell’s recycling programs. For more than 10 years, Dell has been working with Goodwill to collect e-waste, but it’s taken time to develop a method for sustainably harvesting the gold from these products without using caustic chemicals, Fast Company reports.
“Bayou with Love was created to bring greater awareness to the human impact on our planet and show that beautiful items can come from sustainably sourced and recycled materials,” Reed said in the press release. “By recycling gold that was once considered ‘waste,’ Dell and I are working to create an environment where we continuously reuse resources and strive for zero waste.”
Dell will also be using recycled materials in motherboards in its Latitude 5285 2-in-1s, which begin shipping this spring. A third-party study for Dell found that compared to mined gold, this recycled gold has 99 percent less of an environmental impact.
However, Dell needs more recycled gold to continue its endeavor (and make it more cost-effective). With this jewelry line, Dell is hoping to bring awareness and visibility to the need for electronics recycling.