Why Let Tens of Thousands of Electronic Devices End Up in Landfills when You Can Recycle Them and Make Money Today?

Why Let Tens of Thousands of Electronic Devices End Up in Landfills when You Can Recycle Them and Make Money Today?

In case you think that scrapped computers and other old electronic devices are hard to find and send to us to be recycled, we’d like to direct your attention to statistics that were recently reported in “Electronic Waste by Numbers: Recycling & the World,” an article that was posted on March 12, 2016 on ewaste.com. Every year, vast quantities of electronic waste are tossed away. Here are some eye-opening statistics…

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Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money Scrapping Old Computers

Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money Scrapping Old Computers

Over the last four or five years, tens of thousands of older desktop computers have been scrapped. Although a lot of that recycling has already happened, it is still possible to find quantities of older desktops that you can buy at extremely low, junk prices. And if you can buy up a quantity of them and extract the gold they contain, you stand to make a very good profit.

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New Apple Robot Shows Us How to Recycle Old iPhones

New Apple Robot Shows Us How to Recycle Old iPhones

Here’s a video that shows how a new robot that Apple designed can pull apart an iPhone and separate out its parts. For reasons we do not know, Apple named this robot Liam. According to Apple, just one Liam robot can recycle 1.2 million iPhones a year.

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Recycling Silver Cadmium Contacts Can Give You a Big Payday

Recycling Silver Cadmium Contacts Can Give You a Big Payday

If you’re buying and recycling scrapped precious metals, we have a piece of profitable advice for you today: Be on the lookout for silver cadmium scrap or unused components. There’s a lot of money to be made by recycling them, for several reasons. First, old industrial components made of silver cadmium are not difficult to find, because they have been used for years in many manufacturing processes. Second, with cadmium trading at about $12 per pound, a quantify of unused or recycled silver cadmium components can offer you a big return over what you paid for them.

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Precious Metals Refining: How to Make Money from America’s Great TV Trade-In

Precious Metals Refining: How to Make Money from America’s Great TV Trade-In

Today, lots of older flat screen TVs are appearing in dumpsters at the dump too. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, since flat screens have been the televisions of choice for more than a decade now. They’re already breaking down and wearing out. Plus, consumers are tossing old flat screens that still work pretty well so they can upgrade to smart TVs, bigger TVs, higher-definition TVs, and lots of other new products.

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Complicated Precious Metal Recycling Problems Made Easy

Complicated Precious Metal Recycling Problems Made Easy

Recycling precious metals often involves analyzing and refining big messy batches of mixed materials. People who own these mixed lots of material know that gold or silver or platinum is “in there” somewhere, but don’t know where it is, what it is, or how much of it is present. 

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Get Wired! How to Unravel Big Dollars from Wires Made of Gold, Platinum and other Precious Metals

Get Wired! How to Unravel Big Dollars from Wires Made of Gold, Platinum and other Precious Metals

If you’re emptying an old factory that produced products that contained metals, chances are good that you will discover wire that contains precious metals.  You might find coils of it in storage areas. You might find little rolls of it hiding in drawers. Unless the previous owners labeled their supplies carefully or the wire is still in its original packaging, you have very little way of knowing what kind of wire you have.

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Become a Rich Environmentalist by Recycling Precious Metals

Become a Rich Environmentalist by Recycling Precious Metals

When you send us old catalytic converters, sputtering targets, dental scrap or other items to be processed, we recover precious metals from them that were mined from the earth years ago. Those same metals will then be reused in new applications that can include jewelry making, medical technologies, electronics manufacturing, and many more. What could be more efficient?

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Why Letting Us Test Powdered Chemicals Can Offer You a Large Return and Ensure Your Safety

Why Letting Us Test Powdered Chemicals Can Offer You a Large Return and Ensure Your Safety

So, what are palladium salts? They are compounds of palladium and other chemicals that are most often used in the production and testing of stainless and other steels. Some palladium salts are also used as catalysts in the production of other chemicals. Here are some common forms of palladium salts that are used in industry, and that you might come to own if you acquire a chemical business or an old industrial site . . .

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Doing Well by Doing Good: Why Your Business Should Co-Sponsor an Electronics Recycling Day in Your Community

Doing Well by Doing Good: Why Your Business Should Co-Sponsor an Electronics Recycling Day in Your Community

More and more towns and cities across America are holding recycling day events to collect old electronic devices. Electronic recycling days provide a needed service to individuals, who often do not know how or where to responsibly recycle old electrical devices. Whether you are a company that already has stockpiles of electronics to recycle or a company that wants to do something good for your community, you should consider getting involved. By doing good, you could also have an opportunity to earn income.

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8 Explosive Facts about Lithium

8 Explosive Facts about Lithium

Someone called one of our expert consultants at 800-426-2344 last week and asked, “Is lithium a precious metal?” He had a lot of old printed-circuit boards that had batteries attached to them and was wondering if he would get paid for the lithium that they contained if he sent them in to be recycled.

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There’s Gold (and Silver and Other Valuable Stuff) in iPhones

There’s Gold (and Silver and Other Valuable Stuff) in iPhones

Yes, it is true, according to data compiled by 911Metallurgist.com. In fact, a ton of used iPhones contains 324 times more gold than a ton of gold ore does. A ton of iPhones also contains 13 times more copper than a ton of copper ore does, and 6.5 times more silver than a ton of silver ore does. So the message seems to be that as demand for precious metals remains high, recycling phones is a practice that is not about to go away.

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How Much Money Can You Make by Recycling Computers, Cellphones, Catalytic Converters, and other Popular Items?

How Much Money Can You Make by Recycling Computers, Cellphones, Catalytic Converters, and other Popular Items?

We get many calls at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners from people who have cellphones, catalytic converters, computers, remote control devices, and other items that contain precious metals that can be extracted and refined. The first question that those callers ask is usually, “How much are they worth?” And the first question that we usually ask them is, “How many do you have?”

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Don’t Let Precious Silver and Gold Go Down the Drain

If you are in the process of dismantling or selling a manufacturing company, you owe it to yourself and to your bottom line to be sure that you are not overlooking silver and gold that are literally hiding “down the drain” in pipes and other places that you can’t see.

As this photo shows, precious metals can get washed down the drain in many manufacturing processes. They can be reclaimed with the help of a leading gold and silver refinery like Specialty Metals.

Here is some information you should know that could put money in your pocket.

Where can gold and silver be hiding?

It is not uncommon to find them . . .

  • Adhering to the sides of plating and processing tanks
  • Lining the pipes that connect tanks and other pieces of equipment
  • Hiding in screens, filters, mesh, drains and drain traps
  • Clumping in sludge
  • Piling up in quantities of shavings or dust

In those places, gold can often be detected by the naked eye – it does not tarnish and is often easy to spot. Silver, however, may look like a dull black powder. It takes a qualified silver refinery like us to test a sample of what you have to determine its true value.

What manufacturing companies are good places to look for gold?

Some businesses come to mind quickly, others are less obvious . . .

What manufacturing companies are good places to look for silver?

You can find quantities of silver in . . .

  • Plating companies
  • Manufacturers of trophies and commemorative items
  • Photo processing companies and x-ray and imaging laboratories (silver is found down the drain under processing tanks, in processing chemicals, in film, and in photosensitive papers)
  • Manufacturers, dismantlers, and installers of solar panels

Call Us for a Complimentary Consultation

We are here to answer all your questions about gold and silver. Call us at 800-426-2344 for a complimentary consultation.

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Why Recycling Plating Tank Scrap Can Pay You More than You Expect
Recycling Opportunity: More Medical Equipment Is Getting Scrapped than Ever Before
Buying or Selling a Business? Recycle Precious Metals before They Slip Away
Why Money Can Be Found in Your Used Electroplating Supplies

Discovering Precious Metals: Answers to Four Common Questions

We’re delivering a little extra value in today’s post, by answering not one but four questions that we’ve heard recently about recycling gold and precious metals.

Image of businessperson searching for undiscovered precious metals that Specialty Metals can help refine profitably.

“Can I find undiscovered precious items on eBay?”

Although it is theoretically possible to discover an undervalued piece of 24 karat gold jewelry or another precious item on eBay, the likelihood of that happening is very small. Even if a seller doesn’t know that he or she has listed something priceless for auction online, the marketplace will react quickly, a flurry of bidding will start, and the seller will realize that he or she has something that is worth a lot more than expected.

“It’s not really possible to find valuable things with a metal detector, is it?”

Actually, it really is possible to use a metal detector to discover coins and other items that have been lost . . . or hidden. To review what people have been finding recently, search online for “recent metal detector finds.” The valuable discoveries you read about will probably surprise you.

“Computers contain such small quantities of gold that it’s really not worth recycling them, is it?”

It all comes down to quantity. If you have only one or two old computers or central processing units (CPUs), then recycling them is probably not worth your effort or time. But if you have a larger quantity – say 200 or 300 – you can recycle the gold these used electronics contain using our qualified precious metals refinery and net a significant sum of money.

And when you stop to think about it, it is not really that hard to find 200 or 300 old stockpiled computers that need to be recycled. Schools have them. Hospitals do too. So before you write off the idea of turning old computers into money, take a look around. Also, conducting a computer drive for a local organization can be a good way to raise funds.

“Silver is worth so little, why would anybody bother to recycle it?”

People are asking this question a lot lately, but it represents faulty thinking. Even though silver is trading for prices that are a fraction of gold’s, it is not at all difficult to find very large quantities of silver. You can find it in old tableware, in photographic and x-ray papers and film, in welding supplies, and plenty of other places.

Do You Have Questions too?

Why not call us at 800-426-2344? We’re happy to answer any other questions you may have that we haven’t heard yet.

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What We Found while Hunting for Precious Metals on eBay
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What Precious Metals Are Contained in Piles of Old Desktop Computers?

Are You Sitting on Precious Metals You Don’t Even Know About? It’s Remotely Possible!

When we used the words “remotely possible” in the title of today’s post, we were making a joke. You see, remotes – those old electronic remote controls that you have lying around - contain small quantities of precious gold that can be profitably recycled by a precious metals refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners. And the more of them you have, the more money you can make.

Photo of scrap remote control devices and electronics, which contain gold, silver, and platinum which Specialty Metals can help you recycle profitably.

In additional to smaller electronic devices, a number of old home appliances contain quantities of gold, silver and even platinum that we can recycle for you. Be sure to look for quantities of any of the following items:

Small Electronics

  • Remote control devices that belonged to old VCRs, stereo receivers, televisions and DVD players
  • Old and unwanted pieces of stereo equipment
  • Old computers – both laptops and desktops
  • Computer peripherals like external hard drives and modems
  • Old radios and televisions

Home Appliances

  • Refrigerators
  • Ranges and stoves – both gas-fueled and electric
  • Air conditioners
  • Furnaces and boilers
  • Thermostats and the thermocouple wires that connected them to old heating systems
  • Electric heaters that are equipped with thermostats

You’ll Find Even More Precious Metals in Industrial Equipment

If you happen to own scrap that is left from large air conditioning systems that were used in commercial buildings, you could be sitting on even larger quantities of precious metals. The same holds true for manufacturing equipment that was used in applications like plating, welding, and heat-treating ceramics.

If you want to know more, why not call us today at 800-426-2344 so we can tell you more and help you get paid for precious metals that you might have overlooked?

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Can You Recycle Valuable Silver from CDs, DVDs, and the Drives that Read and Burn Them?
What Precious Metals Are Contained in Piles of Old Desktop Computers?
Do You Have Undiscovered Precious Metals in Your Organization

How Are Metals Plated onto Plastics, Ceramics, and Composites?

We’ve written about tank plating on this blog before – the process of plating a metal onto metal items that have been placed into plating tanks. For that process to work, the items to be plated must be electrically charged – in other words, they must be made of metal.

So that leads to an interesting question:

How can metals be plated onto surfaces of non-metallic materials like plastics, ceramics, or composites?

You have doubtless seen non-metallic items that have been plated with metal – they are nearly everywhere. There are metal-plated disposable plastic drink cups, plastic radio knobs, toys with bright shiny metallic coatings, and many other items.

Let’s look at some of the ways that precious and other metals can be coated onto non-metallic surfaces.

Sputtering and Other Vacuum Processes

Scrap sputtering targets, like the one shown above, can contain gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium, and can be refined and recycled by Specialty Metals.

Scrap sputtering targets, like the one shown above, can contain gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium, and can be refined and recycled by Specialty Metals.

Sputtering is the process of choice today for depositing thin films of silver and other metals onto plastics, ceramics, and other non-metallic materials.  Sputtering is done in the vacuum chamber of a special machine, in which atoms are ejected from a metallic disc called a “target” onto the surface of the material to be coated. Sputtering is now widely used to deposit thin films of silver onto photovoltaic solar panels. (The good news is that used sputtering targets that have outlived their useful lives on production lines contain trace amounts of the silver or other precious metals that they contained. They can be profitably recycled by a qualified precious metals refinery.) Interesting: A variety of other vacuum-coating processes have long been used to coat plastic surfaces with aluminum and other metals; in those processes, atoms of the coating metal are dispersed into a vacuum chamber, where they adhere to the surfaces to be plated.

Electroless Plating

The word “electroless” looks like a misspelling, but it is actually a word that was invented to describe a chemical process that deposits a metal onto plastic. In it, the plastic items to be coated are “etched” by being immersed in a special chemical solution that prepares their surfaces for plating. The items are then immersed in a chemical bath that contains the metal that will be used to plate them. Interesting: Electroless plating looks a lot like tank plating, only no electricity is used.

Electroplating

Yes, ceramics and plastics can be electroplated with gold or silver.  It can be done after those materials undergo the process of electroless plating (see just above). Once they have a thin metallic coating, they can be tank plated, just as metal objects are. Interesting: The items that have been plated using this process are often quite durable. One example? Chrome-plated plastic door handles that are used on automobiles.

Spraying

Two different spraying processes – arc and flame spraying – can be used to apply metallic plating to nonconductive surfaces. In most cases, a powdered form of the metal is heated and then sprayed, using special equipment. Interesting: Spraying technologies can be used to apply a metal coating to just one part of a ceramic or plastic item; just as a painting technician can mask off parts of an item so they receive no paint, parts of the item to be spray-plated can be masked and receive no coating.

Precious Metals Can Be Recovered from Plastic Items

In virtually all cases, metals that have been applied to inexpensive plastic items are not precious metals. (Think of the shiny chrome-like finish that is applied to the bumpers and other bright pieces that you will find in a kit for a model car.) If, however, you own a quantity of ceramics or higher-end materials that have a coating of what seems to be silver or gold – and you do not know exactly what they are – they could be a source of valuable precious metals that can be extracted by a qualified precious metals refinery. Why not call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more?

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Use an Organized Recycling Program for Sputtering Targets to Boost Your Company Profits by 10% or More
The Puzzling, Profitable Process of Refining Silver-Plated Scrap Items
Why Recycling Plating Tank Scrap Can Pay You More than You Expect
Why Money Can Be Found in Your Used Electroplating Supplies

Where to Find Precious Metals in Liquid Suspension

For today’s post, let’s assume that you have bought a factory. Along with it, you have come to own bottles or drums of liquid chemicals that were once used there.

What are the odds that those chemicals contain gold, silver or other precious metals that are worth recycling? The most definitive way to answer that question is to send samples of what you have to Precious Metals Smelters and Refiners – with a few simple tests we can determine what you have and its value. Or if your liquid chemicals are labeled, we can tell you what metals they could contain. (We say “could” contain because older lots of chemicals can be contaminated and difficult to process.)

Photo of skids of drums filled used manufacturing fluids containing traces of precious metals that can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals.

But here’s some helpful information that can give you a rough idea about whether the chemicals you own contain precious metals.

The Presence of Precious Metals Depends on What the Factory Was Producing

Film processing - By far, silver is the most common precious metal that you will find in industrial chemicals, because silver chemicals were (and are) used in the processing of photographic and x-ray films. And as you know, those processes have been very widely used over the last century.

Application of thin films – If your factory was applying thin films of gold or silver onto glass, ceramics, plastics or other surfaces, chances are good that your chemicals contain quantities of those metals that can be recovered by a qualified precious metals refinery. Among the most common examples of those processes are applying reflective films to architectural or optical glass, but there are other processes that use precious metals in suspension too, such as the manufacturing of solar panels. And if your factory was manufacturing decorative ceramic tiles, you could be looking at chemicals that contain gold and other precious metals.

Jewelry manufacturing - Precious metal-bearing chemicals are also used to apply thin films of precious metal – most often gold or platinum – onto watch cases, rings, and other pieces of jewelry. Those plating processes are accomplished by tank plating or brush plating, in which a paste that contains the precious metal is applied by using an electrically charged metal brush.

How Are Precious Metals Extracted from Liquids?

It depends on a number of factors, such as whether the metal exists in the liquid in suspension (small powders of the metal are dispersed in pure form in the liquid) or in a chemical compound (the metal is present as a chemical compound, like silver nitrate, in the liquid). Depending on those factors, different processes can be used, including the use of centrifuges or (more commonly) the introduction of other chemicals that cause reactions in which the precious metals are separated and precipitated out of the liquid.

In either case, it is mysterious to watch precious metals like gold or silver suddenly become available from liquids where they were hiding. If you think we can work that kind of magic for you, give us a call at 800-426-2344 and we can tell you more.

Related Posts:

Buying or Selling a Business? Recycle Precious Metals before They Slip Away
Let’s Get Wet: What Liquids Contain Valuable Precious Metals?
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How To Recycle Your Old Silver Recovery Columns