Getting gold from your handphone
You may not know it, but parts of your mobile phone are made of gold.
But before you rush to the pawnshop, here is the bad news - you would need about 100,000 phones to remove 1kg of gold.
Gold is just one of the recyclable materials that can be extracted from e-waste, or discarded electronic devices such as computers, TVs and mobile phones.
On Tuesday, workers at TES-AMM Recycling Plant Facility, a professional electrical and electronic waste recycler, showed members of the press how gold can be extracted and turned into 1kg ingots, worth around $50,000 each.
The demonstration was part of the launch of a new partnership between TES-AMM, telco StarHub and logistics company DHL to expand Singapore's e-waste recycling programme.
But it is not as lucrative as you might think.
Officials at TES-AMM said that extracting gold is an expensive process and they need to process a large amount of e-waste just to get a little bit of gold.
So they do not do it often.
But there are many other materials that can be extracted from e-waste.
Said Mr Alfred Hee, marketing manager of TES-AMM: "Recycling you phone creates a sustainable platform for environment and technology to co-exist.
"For instance, the plastic casings or body of the phone can be used to make plastic chairs and tables.
"Gold from the circuit boards could become a ring, the protective rubber surfaces may be used to build a playground.
"Even non-recoverable parts may be used to generate fuel."
MORE E-WASTE BINS COMING UP
The e-waste recycling programme was first launched during Earth Hour 2012 by StarHub and TES-AMM.
The plan was to have e-waste bins at more locations island-wide.
To date, there are e-waste bin stations at 30 locations.
The amount of waste collected each year is increasing rapidly - from 2,700kg in 2012 to 6,500kg last year and 5,600kg so far this year.
With DHL onboard as a new partner in the programme, which is now called REcycling Nation's Electronic Waste (Renew), the group hopes to place waste bins at 100 locations by the end of this year to encourage the public to recycle their e-waste.
Said Mr Tan Tong Hai, the chief executive officer of StarHub: "StarHub believes in being environmentally responsible and sustainable.
"With support from DHL and a vastly expanded Renew programme, we will be able to take e-waste recycling in Singapore to greater heights."