Recycling Gold, Silver & Other Precious Metals

For centuries, man has had an undying relationship with precious metals. These metals like gold and silver are prized not only for their beauty but also value. This is the only logical explanation for the high number of gold and other precious metals that can be found sitting in central bank vaults and jewelry boxes. According to U.S Geological Survey, there is roughly 171,300 tons of gold that have been mined in history. This is rising at a high rate of 3000 tons every year.


While nothing is wrong with gold, its mining is very bad for our environment. For every ring of gold, there are roughly 20 tons of toxic wastes being generated. And the toxic substances used in the process of mining the gold like mercury and cyanide pollutes both the air we breathe and the water we drink. In fact, gold mining is the number one source of mercury pollution. It is even ahead of coal-fired power stations.

Therefore, we cannot possible continue enjoying these precious metals when they wreak havoc on our planet. Options include using mining methods that are more eco-friendly. This might mean stopping dumping the toxic wastes into oceans and rivers or stop using things like mercury and cyanide. However, the best solution is recycling of the gold that we have already.

Silver recycling

Silver is normally found in electronic and electric scrap, photographic wastes, coinage and jewelry. Given that silver is used for several different things, recycling it is very important. The demand for silver increases as the population grows. Many ways exist to enable reusing and recycling of silver. They include the following.

Scrap Silver


The simplest way to recycle silver and turn it into silver bars.  Your local coin & bullion shop can assist you with this.  To view the types of silver bars that can be made with your unused silver, check out the photos & resources at

Selling or donating

If you have a silver jewelry, consider selling it to any jewelry store or even donating it to an organization. This way, the silver will be reused. Alternatively, the jewelry store could melt and recast it to form new jewelry.

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Recycling Industrial Waste Products

Industrial wastes if left unattended to can cause a lot of damage. Recycling industrial waste products makes a great impact in the world. It helps preserve the natural environment for ourselves and our future generations. It is apparent that the more years go by, the more the need for better management of waste products. This is because as the wealth increases, people buy more products and create waste. When the population increases, it means there are more people to create more waste.

Lifestyle changes such as fast food and new packaging and technological products are developed, meaning more products are more biodegradable. There are regulations that are in place to demand that industrial companies are recycling their wastes rather than disposing them off and damaging the environment.


The practice of recycling is no recent phenomenon. There are claims of the practice dating back to Plato in 400 BC. At this time household wastes such as broken pottery and tools were recycled because resources were limited. They were thus reused when new material was unavailable.

Before the industrial period, scrap bronze and other metals were collected and melted for reuse. Dust and ash from coal and wood were recycled as a base for brick making. In these times, recycling offered and economic advantage.

Industrialization catapulted the need for affordable materials. This is why scrap metals were sought after more than virgin ore. The railroads from the 19th Century to the automobile industry of the 20th Century, there was a need for the utilization of scrap metal. Peddlers made a living collecting pots, pans, machinery and sources of metal from dumps, city street and even door to door. This especially became more rampant during World War I.

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Go Green & Recycle Glass


Most of the inorganic waste in our homes can be recycled which is good news for the environment and all of us in return. The worrying trends of global warming, depleted ozone levels and air pollution are making the scenes of the After Earth movie appear more and more realistic. Recycling glass is pretty easy as it can be recycled an infinite number of times without it losing its quality, purity or strength. It is one of the most widely recycled materials with some countries like Belgium, Finland and Switzerland recycling over 90% of their glass and the UK recycling more than 50% of their container glass. In the US 5% of the garbage is made up of glass.



Recycling is not a new concept but rather one that has been around since the BC era. Archeological evidence uncovered over time shows that in the imperial Byzantine times, glass was recycled in the Sagalassos, the ancient city that is present day Turkey. Recycling of other materials like bronze coins and metals and using them to create other items like statues or weapons was a common practice in those periods. Even before the industrial revolution which made recycling a trend, recycling was still being practiced because it made economical sense to recycle some materials instead of using virgin material. Recyclable materials like aluminum and glass were used until they became too worn to be of any further use. In Britain, bricks were made using dust and ash as their base materials and scrap bronze as well as other metals in Europe were melted down and recycled in a perpetual cycle.

After the establishment of the environmental movement which was established in the 1960s, recycling became popular resulting in the establishment of drop-off recycling centers. A major milestone in the journey of recycling was covered when a universal symbol for recycling was introduced. The symbol was a Mobius strip which was designed in the later half of the 1960s by Gary Anderson. This was after a recycled-container company which was based in Chicago sponsored an art contest that was aimed at raising environmental awareness. The triangle has been used as a representation of the hierarchy of recycling that encourages people to reduce, reuse and recycle. The interest in recycling was also increased because of the rising energy costs that were being witnessed in the 1970s.

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Recycling wood for furniture

Wooden furniture has a tendency to be the best alternative for the individuals who are looking to enhance a piece. This is for the most part due to the flexibility of wooden furniture. Nonetheless, with enough diligent work and ability, any sort of furniture might be transformed from a junkyard item, into a showstopper.

Most importantly, you have to know where to get some great furniture with a lot of potential.

Where to find used furniture

There are numerous spots where you can discover modest and utilized – yet quality – furniture in your neighborhood. Firstly, you have to get your involved some grouped ads. These are the most widely recognized and mainstream path for individuals to dispose of their old furniture. This incorporates paper ordered ads and on the web, so there is something for everybody.

You can discover anything in the classifieds including, tables, seats, couches, wardrobes, and all different sorts of furniture. It’s exhorted, on the off chance that you are purchasing from a notice, to ask to see it first. It is never a great thought to purchase anything without having the capacity to provide for it a trial run.

There are a few sites that offer you an allowed to gatherer’ choice. These are extraordinary as you should simply turn up and take the furniture off their hands. These sites are extraordinary and for a large portion of them you need to give something first before you can gather something for nothing yourself; which is reasonable enough.

Other great spots to buy second hand furniture might be auto boot deals and philanthropy shops. Never forget that regardless of how shabby, old and worn the furniture may look; with a bit of sanding, a lick of paint and some decent varnishing, you can make it look just out of the plastic new.

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Recycling E-Cigarettes

Smoking is well known as a huge risk to health but it’s also a problem for the environment. Cigarette butts are the most common item of trash in the world, with billions of them being discarded every day. It’s estimated that more than 850,000 tons of butts are thrown away annually and they’re not biodegradable. They also contain toxins, making them dangerous to wildlife and a source of water pollution.

Many epidemiologists and scientists believe that electronic cigarettes, which are becoming increasingly popular, could massively reduce or even replace smoking over the next few decades. That’s great news for health, but what does it mean for the environment?

Electronic cigarettes are a substitute for real cigarettes, so for every person who switches to them we can expect e-cig waste to replace some butts. The question is whether or not there will be less waste and how dangerous it will be. At first glance it looks very positive; every time someone smokes a cigarette they throw away a butt, but electronic cigarettes don’t work that way. On the other hand the waste they do create includes batteries, and some of the parts can be contaminated with nicotine, so there are questions.

Some electronic cigarettes are disposable; they come with a preloaded cartridge of nicotine solution and a built-in battery, and last for about a day. This creates a smaller volume of waste than smoking but there is a battery in there. A positive sign is that one company has already created an incentivized scheme for users; if you return ten used vaporizers they send you a new one. If other manufacturers adopted similar schemes this could almost eliminate waste for disposables.

Actually recycling them means removing the batteries and processing the other materials used. This is mostly steel and plastic, so they can be recycled by standard methods just like any other small electronic device. Unless they’re simply thrown away or find their way into the water supply the nicotine shouldn’t be an issue, as it’s not highly concentrated and would be removed during recycling anyway.

Other electronic cigarettes use a rechargeable battery that can be fitted with disposable cartridges. Users normally dispose of a cartridge every day or so; again these contain nicotine, as well as some small metal parts and a plastic body. Normally they go into general waste and are landfilled. This could create some nicotine seepage into the water table. The cartridges could be recycled but are quite complex. From a recycling point of view it would be best if users were encouraged to switch to refillable devices.

Refillables have a rechargeable or replaceable battery, plus a tank that holds the liquid. The tank can be refilled, and contains a heating coil that can be swapped for a new one when it burns out. This minimizes the amount of discarded waste; a week’s worth of cigarette butts can be replaced with an inch of silica wick and a short length of wire. This waste is contaminated with nicotine but the quantities are extremely small. The rest of the device can have a very long life, and because these are mostly metal can be recycled as normal. The only remaining issue is the batteries which can be disposed of through normal battery recycling programs.

Electronic cigarettes do have some challenges, but these are minor – especially with refillables, which seem to the most environmentally efficient option. If analysts are correct and they seriously reduce smoking that will be good for the environment too.