Purple Butterfly

Common Q’s: “Are these recycled?”

21 October

Another common question we get at show is: “Are these boards recycled?”

Oh man, I wish!

In 2010, the US produced 2.4 million tons of E-waste, and only 27% of it was recycled. The remainder went into landfills to leech toxic elements, often in 3rd world countries.  Yuck.


I absolutely would recycle old computers into awesome blinky jewelry, if I could.

Unfortunately the inside of your cell phone does not look like a butterfly or a skull.

Purple Butterfly

Purple Butterfly

Those shiny gold lines aren’t just for decoration. They carry electricity, and how they are connected together determines how the circuit functions. A circuit board from your cell phone wouldn’t work as blinky jewelry because it is connected specifically to make a cell phone work.

We design our jewelry from the bottom up to function efficiently as twinkling, solar powered awesome-sauce for your wardrobe.

“But what about the components on top of the circuit board? Couldn’t you up-cycle those?”

Again, I would love to.

However there are millions and millions of possible electronic components on a circuit board. Check out the digikey catalog. Removing and sorting them from old circuit boards would be a monumental task requiring thousands and thousands of people. Each component would need to be tested to determine what it is and if it still functions.

It is more economical to dissolve or melt them down in large batches to extract the valuable metals.  I wish more e-waste was recycled like this.




One Response to “Common Q’s: “Are these recycled?””

  1. Luke Yancey June 22, 2016 at 7:57 am #

    Oh wow, I never once thought about using recycled electronics to make jewelry! With everything that is happening to our planet, I hope more people will start looking into this option. You can even recycle some electronics and people will take the working parts! There is no need to just throw away something because part of it doesn’t work!

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