Supply chain
Dell, Wistron teaming up to extract gold from e-wastes
Chloe Liao, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

Dell has teamed up with Wistron to recycle gold from e-wastes and use the recycled gold in its products, marking an upgrade of its closed-loop project launched in 2012 to recycle plastics materials from end-of-life electronics into new Dell products.

Since the beginning of 2018, Dell has used gold recycled from waste motherboards in its Latitude 5285 2-in-1 business-use notebook debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2018 and to be shipped to customers in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.

The closed-loop gold recycling process comes in two stages. In the first stage, recycled electronic wastes are delivered to Wistron Green Tech's Texas plant in the US to undergo initial dismantling. The plant adopts a metal surface chemistry process to extract precious metals including gold, silver and copper from printed circuit boards, according to SH Huang, president of Wistron Advanced Materials. The Texas plant can process 13,000 tons of electronics wastes a year sourced from the US and Europe.

In the second stage, Huang continued, the waste chassis plastics are sent to Wistron Advanced Materials' plant in Kunshan, China for further refining, where the plastics wastes are recycled into environmental plastics to be adopted by Dell's downstream ODM partners.

Over the past few years, Dell has had 152 product items adopt recycled plastics materials mostly for chassis, and has set the goal of using 100 million pounds of recycled-content plastic and other sustainable materials in its products by 2020.

As part of its new circular economy plan for the next 10 years, Dell will expand its closed-loop recycling to include more waste materials, so as to allow circular economy to further ferment in more products, according to Vivian Tai, head of Dell Environmental Affairs and Product Sustainability for Asia-Pacific and Japan Region.

Dell, Wistron team up to recycle gold from waste PCBs.  Photo: Chloe Liao, Digitimes, October 2018

Dell, Wistron team up to recycle gold from waste PCBs.
Photo: Chloe Liao, Digitimes, October 2018

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