Think back to the last cell phone, BlackBerry, PC or television you owned. Is it sitting in a closet at home, or did you return it to the manufacturer through a take-back program? If you did send it back, have you thought about where it might have gone afterwards?
You might want to. There is about $1 worth of precious metals in your cell phone and enough gold in 200 cell phones to make a gold ring. Your watch or bracelet could easily be made from the same platinum, gold, silver or copper that helped power the circuit board in your last laptop. In fact, there were 233 million cell phones in use in 2006—that's a lot of potential bling.
Extracting precious metals from recycled electronics is a booming business. We toured the We Recycle! shredding facility in Mt. Vernon, NY to learn how it all works. Check it out: