Electronics recycling can be challenging because discarded electronics devices are sophisticated devices manufactured from varying proportions of glass, metals, and plastics. The process of recycling can vary, depending on the materials being recycled and the technologies employed, but here is a general overview.
Collection and Transportation: Collection and transportation are two of the initial stages of the recycling process, including for e-waste. Recyclers place collection bins or electronics take-back booths in specific locations and transport the collected e-waste from these sites to recycling plants and facilities.
Shredding, Sorting, and Separation: After collection and transportation to recycling facilities, materials in the e-waste stream must be processed and separated into clean commodities that can be used to make new products. Efficient separation of materials is the foundation of electronics recycling. Shredding the e-waste facilitates the sorting and separation of plastics from metals and internal circuitry, and waste items are shredded into pieces as small as 100mm to prepare for further sorting.
A powerful overhead magnet separates iron and steel from the waste stream on the conveyor and then prepares it for sale as recycled steel. Further mechanical processing separates aluminum, copper, and circuit boards from the material stream—which now is mostly plastic. Water separation technology is then used to separate glass from plastics. The final step in the separation process locates and extracts any remaining metal remnants from the plastics to purify the stream further.
Preparation For Sale as Recycled Materials: After the shredding, sorting and separation stages have been executed, the separated materials are prepared for sale as usable raw materials for the production of new electronics or other products.