1 Sep 2020

Kiwis turning E-waste to gold, but not in New Zealand

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 1 September 2020

The New Zealand based start-up Mint Innovation, is on track to open its first  commercial refineries for extracting precious metals from e-waste in Britain and Australia later this year, which will also be the world's first to use gold 'eating' microbes rather than the cyanide.

But with no official e-waste recycling or recovery scheme in this country, and as the only OECD nation without any national regulations, New Zealanders will miss out on the advances.

E-waste is the fastest growing form of waste, and every year the average New Zealander generates around 20 kilograms of the stuff.

According to a recent report by the UN, the world dumps at least $10bn worth of gold, platinum, and other precious metals in a growing e-waste mountain each year.

The problem is made worse by the release of toxic compounds into the atmosphere associated with unsafe recycling practices.