Designer turns Dell e-waste into gold jewellery

Nikki Reed debuts jewellery collection sourced from gold recovered from Dell’s recycling programs

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Designer turns Dell e-waste into gold jewellery The collection, which includes 14- and 18-carat gold rings, earrings and cufflinks, highlights the widespread impact that e-waste.
By  David Ndichu Published  January 18, 2018

A jewellery collection sourced from gold recovered from Dell’s recycling programs sparkled at this year’s CES.

The Circular Collection, by Bayou with Love, is the brainchild of a collaboration between Dell and actress, entrepreneur and activist Nikki Reed, in support of the sustainable design movement.

The collection, which includes 14- and 18-carat gold rings, earrings and cufflinks, highlights the widespread impact that e-waste, or disposable electronic equipment, has on the environment and the role industry and individuals are playing in advancing a circular economy.

“Bayou with Love was created to bring greater awareness to the human impact on our planet and show that beautiful items can come from sustainably sourced and recycled materials,” said Nikki Reed, co-founder of Bayou with Love. “By recycling gold that was once considered ‘waste,’ Dell and I are working to create an environment where we continuously reuse resources and strive for zero waste.”

In addition, Dell is announcing a pilot to use recycled gold from used electronics in new computer motherboards, which will ship in Latitude 5285 2-in-1s starting this spring. The pilot follows a feasibility study on server motherboards. The closed-loop gold process could support the creation of millions of new motherboards in the next year. It expands Dell’s closed loop program from plastics to precious metals.

Currently, only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled into other products. As a result, it’s estimated that Americans throw away $60 million in gold and silver every year through unwanted phones alone. The new Circular Collection and Dell pilot demonstrate the potential for these precious materials to be recycled into sustainable products. Not only does reusing and upcycling gold from used technology have economic benefits, it also creates environmental and social benefits by avoiding the damage to human health and the leaching of pollutants commonly associated with mined gold. According to a Trucost study, the gold reclamation process created by Dell environmental partner Wistron GreenTech has a 99% lower environmental impact than traditionally mined gold.

“At Dell, we pride ourselves in finding better, more efficient ways to do business particularly throughout our supply chain,” said Jeff Clarke, Dell vice chairman. “Materials innovation – where and how we source things like plastic, carbon fibre and now gold for our products – is increasingly important for us. When you think about the fact that there is up to 800x more gold in a ton of motherboards than a ton of ore from the earth, you start to realize the enormous opportunity we have to put valuable materials to work. Nikki Reed gets that and so do we. It takes constantly thinking outside of the box and pushing the boundaries of innovation to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.”

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