The Resources In Our Cities

Our cities are full of resources. Roads, buildings, cars, electronics and even our trash can be a treasure trove of valuable materials. Using urban mining processes, we can recover and reuse these resources, which ultimately lessens our need to mine for virgin materials.

At Sepro Urban Mining, we look at things a little differently. For example, a battery is not just a power source. It’s also a collection of metals from countries all over the globe. When a battery reaches the end of its life, the metals inside can still provide value if we extract them.

It’s not just batteries. Here are some other everyday resources that hide in plain sight in urban centres.

Buildings

Cities are like living organisms. They grow, expand, mature, take in energy and produce waste. Our cities’  landscapes are constantly changing. For cities to grow and improve, buildings get torn down and are replaced by new ones.

A demolished building can be a large source of recyclable resources, such as concrete, metal, plastic, wood and more. Instead of shipping all of these materials to landfills, urban mining can be employed to recover the valuable materials.

Approximately 80% of materials can be kept out of landfills for reuse or recycling. Concrete can be crushed and reused as aggregate for other construction projects. Rebar steel and copper wiring can also be recovered and reused.

Vehicles

Every vehicle on our streets contains large amounts of base and precious metals. A typical car is built with steel, aluminum, copper, platinum, palladium, gold and magnesium. Modern vehicles are also built with electronic features that require a circuit board full of valuable metals.

Electric vehicles contain even more metals, with cobalt, lithium, neodymium and nickel in their batteries. Even after your car has reached the end of its useful life, urban mining can be used to turn your clunker into the materials that form the foundation of something new.

Electronics

Broadly known as e-waste, computers, phones, tablets, TVs, appliances, and other electronics make up the fastest growing waste stream on the planet. Our cities contain tons of it.

In Canada, over 14.5 million phones are thrown away each year. From these phones alone, we could recover a whopping 203,000kg of copper, 5,075kg of silver, and 490kg of gold. Add in all of your other electronic devices and these numbers increase even more.

Urban Mining Solutions

Sepro Urban Mining has worked alongside e-waste specialists to develop a safe process to recover valuable metals like gold from circuit boards. Since our electronics contain toxic chemicals like mercury and bromine, it’s crucial to process waste responsibly. If disposed of improperly, chemicals can leach into the environment, including groundwater sources.
For an effective and responsible solution to your e-waste or urban mining recycling process, contact Sepro today.

2019-05-23T10:54:33-07:00 May 23rd, 2019|