VIDEO: U.S. Firm Opens E-Waste Recycling Facility for Rare Earths in Michigan

3S International has opened its first end-of-life electronics processing facility to recover rare earth elements in Tinley Park, Illinois.

Mount Pleasant, Michigan based e-waste recycling firm, 3S International has opened its first end-of-life electronics processing facility to recover rare earth elements in Tinley Park, Illinois.

According to the company, the 8000 square foot (740 square metre) facility houses the only BLUBOX unit in the U.S. - a proprietary technology that is claimed to reduce electronics into recyclable fragments and safely extract rare earth elements, including mercury.

3S added that the BLUEBOX technology process e-waste at a rate of 2200 pounds (1 metric tonne) per hour, and that it is the only company in the U.S. with the rights to the technology.

“Our process shreds the electronics into their component materials. We do not landfill or resell,” commented Gina Yob, vice president of sales and marketing at 3S International.

Yob also noted that each year in the U.S., millions of tons of electronics are thrown away and up to 80% of the electronics given to recyclers end up either being re-sold, shipped overseas, or sent to a landfill.

“This practice seriously and adversely affects communities and the environment, and also poses security risks to the data that electronic equipment contains,” she added.

3S International said that it is already collecting and receiving end-of-life electronics throughout Illinois, Michigan and Indiana and has a 150-mile trade area.

The company also claimed that one BLUBOX unit has the capability of meeting the e-recycling needs of 6 million people annually.

The recycler said that individuals wishing to recycle end-of-life electronics can drop them off at any Land of Lincoln Goodwill Store, from which is makes regular collections.

With its first e-waste recycling facility fully operational, 3S said that it is now seeking its next location.

The company said that its goal is to open between six and 10 facilities in the U.S. over the next three years.

A video explaining the technology can be seen below

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