Dell, a multinational computer technology company based in Texas has partnered with Nikki Reed, an activist and actress who first become famous from her critically acclaimed 2013 debut film “Thirteen” before being cast in the bestselling “Twilight” film franchise, to turn waste into fashion. Aiming to recycle Dell’s electronic waste, namely discarded motherboards, into a unique and tasteful new gold jewelry collection dubbed, the Circular Collection, which was unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The duo aims to not only reduce the amount of electronics that end up in landfills and pollute our environment, but to show the value of responsible recycling of e-waste.
For every one million handsets that have gone through an extensive salvage process, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, 35,000 pounds of copper and a total of 33 pounds of palladium can be successfully recovered. However, with the entry of better and brighter phones and laptops constantly entering the market, the chances of someone responsibly recycling e-waste, or recycling at all for that matter, are slim to none. Much too often people dump their used or broken electronics in with regular trash, which then fills our landfills or gets incinerated and pollutes the environment. For years, Reed has set out to address recycling issues like these.
As a passionate sustainability advocate, Reed founded the company, Bayou with Love, to sell apparel and home goods that meet a strict ethical checklist: Everything is local, sustainable, and recycled or upcycled. However, turning computer hardware into trendy jewelry was somewhat of a challenge for Reed. In an article with digital media company Refinery29, Reed said, “I hadn’t worked with this medium before – a lot of what we use in our sustainable products are recycled ocean plastics. Our factory [in LA] was asking me all these questions, like how are we going to receive this gold? There are all these legalities that come along with that – they have to receive it in a certain form so it has to be extracted in a certain way.”
How the process works begins with Dell’s consumer recycling program that collects electronic donations, Dell Reconnect, and business program, Asset Resale and Recycling. The e-waste gathered from these programs is then sent to a partner of Dell’s, Wistron Green Tech, which extracts small amounts of gold from motherboards and turns it into convenient and easy to handle gold bars. The bars are then shipped to Reed’s Bayou with Love factory and made into jewelry. The collection features affordable accessories, with pieces starting at $78. You can browse or purchase pieces from the collection on the Bayou With Love website.To create a single bit, Dell has said it takes approximately a total of six motherboards. The average electronic device, both smartphones and computers, does not contain nearly enough of these materials to have any value to the customer. Not to mention, the process of mining the material is no simple task. Therefore, it’s well worth the user’s time and effort to recycle the devices in order to reap a much larger, and in this case shinier, reward.
As an R2 certified company, HOBI International Inc. prioritizes responsible recycling and offers Environmental Services for those looking to recycle, reuse, or refurbish and re-market old electronic devices.