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Sony to gather gadget gold

There’s gold in them thar gadgets

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You may think that huge diamond dazzler bought with your annual bonus is the only precious material you own. But Sony thinks differently and so is going after your golden gadgets.

Modern gadgets contain a host of different precious metals, such as gold, platinum, silver and copper. And, according to a report by JCN, it’s these materials that Sony hopes to extract from the gadgets you’ve thrown away as part of a trial recycling project.

The firm has invested about ¥22m (£100,000/€130,000/$200,000) – around ¥2m of which will be financed by the Japanese city of Kitakyushu, to place gadget recycling boxes at 60 locations, such as DIY stores and supermarkets, across the city.

Gadget lovers throwing out, say, a compact camera will be urged to put the device into one of these recycling boxes. A specialist firm will then separate non-ferrous metals from the disused gadgets, and then sell the precious compounds back to Sony.

The electronics giant plans to outsource the refining process to make usable materials, such as gold and silver. Sony then hopes to re-use these materials in a range of new gadgets, although none have been specifically mentioned.

The trial service will run until March 2009. No plans to expand it to the UK have been mentioned.

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