Paved in Gold is a project to create awareness that the precious metals that are getting scarcer every day, are actually everywhere around us. They can be mined from our garbage: from electronic waste, from sewage and waste water, and from our general waste compressed in bottom ash.
The facts don't lie!
With the right technology, metals can be removed from our
waste in an environmentally friendly way. The unused potential of metal waste On a daily basis, we throw away precious metals without being aware of it. Our household waste consists of a large amount of consumer goods: from food waste to packaging but also, electronic waste. All of this waste, contains metals. But most of our household waste is not recycled: it gets burned. Bottom ash is what remains after this burning process, and it
includes these precious metals. And although the demand for metals is increasing, they are not properly recycled. On the contrary even: bottom ash is used as mass to build roads and to secure dikes. Yearly more than 200.000 tons of iron in bottom ash therefore disappears in constructions. Eight tons of copper is wasted. And we fail to recover three tons of gold from
this waste. Palladium, Silver, Vanadium, Chrome, Lead, Zinc: the list of metals that are just wasted goes on. The industry is failing to be efficient. Partly because the law allows for it, but the mainly because metal recycling knowledge and equipment is not up to date.
The facts don't lie!
Work together towards new metal recycling solutions As an engineer, I have been tackling this issue for almost 45 years. From this experience I know that the recycling industry make various claims on recycling, but often also fails to make it happen. Therefore, I decided to take matter into my own hands, and to build a recycling machine to show how to extract metals from waste. I want to show the industry how to make a difference, and inform consumers about the potential that is now left unused. The metals we all need so badly for the consumer goods we use, are getting scarcer
by the day. Once we realise the amount of metals that are not properly recycled and the potential of our waste, we can work together towards new solutions.