Circuit Board Recycling System Created
System Safely and Efficiently Recovers Reusable Parts
and Valuable Metals from Discarded Circuit Boards
Syracuse, NY— Communities across the country are
scrambling to figure out what to do about the huge growth of electronics
trash that is accumulating. The recent release of a U.N. study outlining
the need for member countries to take actions to slow the tide of toxic
electronic devices entering landfills worldwide has brought the issue
to the forefront, both domestically and internationally.
Northeast Surplus & Materials, LLC, a Syracuse-based
Central New York electronics recycler, has developed a new circuit board
recycling system that was made possible through the New York State Energy
Resource Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA provided funding in
the amount of more than $230,000, with the overall project totaling more
The National Safety Council estimates that over 400
million computers will be abandoned in 2004 and that the number will grow
steadily over the next few years. To date, only about 10% of these will
be recycled. The rest will either be put into landfills or packed into
ocean containers and shipped overseas where the recycling regulations
aren’t as strict as those of this country. Also, recycling operations
there are permitted to use such pollutant methods as bathing circuit boards
in acid to remove gold and other metals before stripping them off by hand,
according to Jim Moltion, Northeast president.
The company is currently working out details with a
few of the country’s largest computer manufacturers for them to
buy systems from Northeast to recover usable circuit board components
using the new system, according to Moltion. All the raw metals recovered
from the process are sold to smelters for reuse in making such items as
new electronics and jewelry.
The new patent-pending system efficiently and safely
recovers reusable parts and valuable metals from discarded circuit boards,
leaving nothing for the landfill. According to Moltion, the new environmentally
friendly, one-operator circuit board “depopulator” system
removes over 300,000 parts a week during a normal 40-hour workweek.
Investment is currently being sought for the commercial-ready
system and the company has plans to sell or license it to others in the
worldwide recycling industry.