The crazy ways we'll soon mine old gadgets for treasure
The internet recently flew into a frenzy over news that Apple recovered $40 million worth of gold from old gadgets last year. That story turned out to be wildly oversold. But our eagerness to celebrate a tech company's recycling victory speaks to a disturbing truth. We're terrible at recycling rare and important metals from our devices. Gold recycling is the recipe for a viral story, but there's a group of metals that are even harder to come by, and far more vital to modern technology. Called rare earths, these obscure elements are sprinkled in virtually every consumer electronic, automobile, and green energy product on the market.
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