Links and Other Material

This page contains links and resources found on the Internet about recycling, e-waste, mining and extraction.

Some sources might be more reliable than others: please double-check content and information before re-using it.

If citing the material, use the linked source (e.g. BBC). You might also mention you found the information on the Replay website.

If you are aware of any other link, please let us know (see the Contacts page).

Video recording of the RePlay Events held at Muse

Recordings of the events held Muse, the Science Museum of Trento, Italy (videos in Italian).

Related Projects

This is a list of projects related to Replay:

  • E-Mining @ School, contains information about raw materials in a smartphone, a web-based game we run in 2018 (requires to be configured: if you are interested, get in touch). The goal of the project is training and engaging students in schools in reusing and recycling phones. During the project we run an international competition in which students collected old phones for reuse and recycling. More than 5 tons of materials were collected.
  • AWARE has the goal of training teachers and university students on circular economy and WEEEs. On the project website you can find materials in different languages for teachers and students of different degrees, from elementary up to secondary school.
  • RePlay has the goal of training scientific communicators and stage events and exhibitions in the participating Museums (MuSe, Museon, Heureka).

General Introduction to Circular Economy

A nice introduction to circular economy from the EU:

Interactive Experiences

Life WEEE project - Playground@school educational kit

- Life Weee project aims to increase and improve the collection of WEEE in Tuscany and in Andalusia.

  • Playground@school, a project carried out within the Life framework has created an educational kit about WEEE, treasures to be recovered. The kit consists of a booklet with ideas for teachers and a board game ready to be printed (board, rules and solutions, contingency and chance cards). It can be used at school by teachers and at home by parents and older primary and early middle school pupils (8-13 years).

Videos About Mining

Videos about Producing Electronic Equipments

What is a smartphone made of?

The Chemical Elements of a Smartphone


Foxconn and iPhones

Foxconn and Amazon

e-Waste Collection

Good Practices

Recycling Electronics

Videos produced by Relight, an Italian factory recycling electronics:

Other Videos:

Urban mining

A 7 minutes clip on Urban Mining and recycling old electronics. Shot in Finland for kids in elementary school.

Tips and Tricks from Electro Recycling hero

Three short clips in English about recycling. For kids.

Applied Research

Example of Recovering HDDs

EcoInvent Database

It is difficult to know what materials electronics is made of (list of materials in microchip not known or not disclosed, electronics evolve fast).

The ecoinvent database provides well documented process data for thousands of products, helping you make truly informed choices about their environmental impact.

Reports and Documents

Newspapers and Newsletters


Government Policies and Information

Pilots and Research Initiatives

Random bits of information

Here you can find random bits of information mainly taken during the Green Care Conference in 2018.

Use and read with caution: it is better to double check what you read here!

BIR - Bureaus of Recycling

According to industry estimates, paper can be recycled an average of 4 to 6 times. Each time recycling occurs, the fibres become shorter and weaker and virgin pulp must be introduced into paper production to maintain the strength and quality of the fibre. Through this process, recovered paper and forest-based product complement each other ecologically and economically.

Unlike metals, recycling usually affects the physical properties of plastics to some extent. This makes it difficult to recover large amounts of certain types of plastics for use in the same applications that they were originally produced for. Thanks to intensive research and technological developments made by recycling companies, recycled plastic can be used in almost as many applications and products as those using virgin materials.

We now use about 20 times more plastic than we did 50 years ago and certain post-consumer products contain as many as 20 different types of plastic materials.

Tyres are one of the most versatile recycled materials and are used as fuel or for numerous innovative applications, such as construction and civil engineering.

The electronics recycling industry in the USA alone is worth more than US$ 20bn and processes over 4m tonnes each year, providing direct and indirect employment for 45,000-plus people. Recycling copper uses much less energy, about 10 million Btu/tonne, than the energy required to extract copper from copper ore at about 95 million Btu/tonne. Recycling copper saves up to 85% of the energy used in primary production, and so by using copper scrap, we reduce CO2 emissions by 65% Recycling one tonne of steel saves 1,100 kilograms of iron ore, 630 kilograms of coal, and 55 kilograms of limestone. One tonne of recycled aluminium saves up to 8,000 kilograms of bauxite, 14,000 kWh of energy, 40 barrels (6300 litres) of oil, 238 million Btu's of energy. Recycling 1 tonne of aluminium avoids the emission of about 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions as recycling aluminium uses 95% less energy than producing aluminium using raw materials. Recycling one tonne of tin saves 99% of the energy required for the primary production of tin.

Raw Materials in iPhones

Source: Green Care Conf 2018

For every 100.000 devices

ElementKgs/10.000 devices
Rare earth elements11kg

Raw Materials cell phones

EPA Data

For every 1 million devices (original data in pounds).

ElementPounds/1M devicesKgs/1M devices

Elements in a Smartphone

Source: Oko-Institut 2016

Copper15.12gWires, shielding, PCB, speakers, vibration
Tin1.21gSolder past
Tungsten0.44gVibration alarm
Silver0.31gSoldier paste, PCB
Neodymium0.05gMagnets of speakers
Gold0.03gElectronic components, PCB
Palladium0.01gElectronic components, PCB
Praseodymium0.01gMagnets of speakers
Others99.29gGlass, ceramics, semiconductors

Carbon Footprint of a Fairphone

Source: Green Care Conf 2018

By Phase

Phasekg CO2E

By Component

ComponentsKg CO2E
Core Module62.5
Battery Module5.4
Display Module7.5
Camera Module5.4
Top module3.6
Back cover0.2
Bottom module1.5

Gold Mining and Electronics

(Source: GreenCare Conference 2018)

Impact of mining 1t of gold:

  • 18,000 tons of CO2e released
  • 260,000 tons of water used
  • 200,000 GJ of energy consumed
  • 1,270,000 tons of waste solids produced

Gold density in Electronics:

  • There is up to 800x more gold in a ton of motherboards than in a ton of gold ore
  • Every year 60 USDM worth of gold and silver go to waste in the US from phones alone


  • Co has exceptional properties (e.g., resistance to high temperature) and it is in great demand (price risen 250% in 2017) from unstable countries (Congo, Zambia Central African Republic)
  • Sources:
    • Primary production/extraction from ores: 65% (10.000 tons/year)
    • Secondary production: 35% (recovered from batteries, super-alloys and hard metals)
  • 160M laptops sold in 2017, average Co content 0.003 kg/laptop, implies 5000 tons of cobalt recoverable at end of life (yearly)
  • Car batteries of electric cars (Tesla) contain 7Kg each