Dell to turn discarded motherboard into recycled gold jewellery

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Technology giant Dell and actress Nikki Reed have announced a collaboration to create jewellery from gold recovered from Dell’s recycling of computer motherboard. The Circular Collection by Bayou with Love and Dell is a new limited edition, jewelry collection made in the US and sourced from gold recovered from Dell’s recycling programs. The collection, which includes 14 and 18-carat gold rings, earrings and cufflinks is being showcased at CES 2018 to highlight the widespread impact that e-waste, or disposable electronic equipment, has on the environment.

Dell also announced a pilot to use recycled gold from used electronics in new computer motherboards, which will ship in the Latitude 5285 2-in-1s starting this spring. The pilot follows a successful feasibility study on server motherboards. The closed-loop gold process could support the creation of millions of new motherboards in the next year. It expands Dell’s closed loop program from plastics to precious metals, said company.

Dell said that currently only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled into other products. As a result, it’s estimated that Americans throw away $60 million in gold and silver every year through unwanted phones alone. The new Circular Collection and Dell pilot demonstrate the potential for these precious materials to be recycled into goods that are beautiful, valuable and sustainable.

“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,” said Nikki Reed, co-founder of Bayou with Love. “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.”

“Materials innovation – where and how we source things like plastic, carbon fiber and now gold for our products – is increasingly important for us. When you think about the fact that there is up to 800x more gold in a ton of motherboards than a ton of ore from the earth, you start to realize the enormous opportunity we have to put valuable materials to work. Nikki Reed gets that and so do we. It takes constantly thinking outside of the box and pushing the boundaries of innovation to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges,” said Jeff Clarke, Dell vice chairman.

Dell said that it has spent more than a decade working with sustainable materials in products and packaging. Since 2012, Dell has recycled more than 50 million pounds of post-consumer recycled materials into new products. As part of Dell’s Legacy of Good Program, the company has pledged to recycle 100 million pounds of recycled content into its product portfolio by 2020. The collaboration with Nikki Reed extends from the company’s widespread efforts to find innovative ways to create value from waste.

To support the effort, consumers in the U.S. can drop off their unwanted and used electronics at a Goodwill participating in the Dell Reconnect program, a free and responsible recycling service partnered with Dell. Businesses can participate through Dell’s Asset Resale and Recycling Services. Using an environmentally-responsible extraction process, the used electronics are broken down into individual components by Dell’s environmental partner, Wistron GreenTech. Gold from the motherboards is then recycled into new computer motherboards as part of Dell’s closed loop supply chain or upcycled into other products.

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