Home > About UWin > News


E-Waste and The Birth of Eco-Urban Mining



E-Waste and The Birth of Eco-Urban Mining


Author : Alex Tse

Published: 15th, Jan., 2020


What is E-Waste?

Electronic waste is the discarded electrical, electronic components or devices. As technology advances, electronic devices become more accessible than ever before. Consumers are chasing for the novel technology and purchasing the latest electronic devices. The older version of the same or similar devices ended up in the bin. As a result, the global e-waste issue has no sign of stopping and this problem has escalated in recent years.
“So, what’s the problem of that?” You may ask.”We can put them in our landfill together with other rubbishes.” Most of the e-waste consists of a large number of toxic chemicals. These chemicals will contaminate our rivers and soils if disposed of without proper treatment. They will cycle through our Eco-system, ended up back in our bodies and damage our nervous system.

Why Should We Recycle E-Waste?

To begin with, dumping untreated e-waste in the landfills will release toxic chemicals into the earth.


Furthermore, e-waste is a massive “Gold Mines”. Most electrical products are usually composed of different types of metals. Some of which are valuable elements such as Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Cobalt and Rare Earth Metals. In complex electronic devices, up to 30 elements can be found and many of them are recoverable. The estimated value of raw materials from e-waste disposed on 2019 alone was more than 70 Billion USD.


On top of that, we can donate the used devices to the less-fortunate people within your community. Thus, prevent the e-waste from going into the landfills and enhance their quality of life.


Last but not least, raw materials recycled can be reused into other products. Not only does this stop them from ending up in the landfills and reduces pollution. E-waste recycling will also create more jobs and resources. Benefit the economy.

Global Trend of E-Waste

According to The Global E-waste Monitor, there were approximately 44.7 million tons of e-waste generated in 2016 alone. Only about 20% of them were documented to be recycled while the rest are likely disposed to the landfills or discarded illegally. Asia generated the greatest amounts of e-waste at


18.2M tons and was followed by Europe at 12.3M tons and the Americas at 11.3M tons. These 3 continents contributed a total of 93.5% of e-waste in the world.


The amount of e-waste generated globally is escalating. At 2021, there will be 52.2M tons of e-waste generated in that year alone. This is an astonishing 17% increment in just 5 years.


The collection rate in 2016 is low across all continents. In Asia, the collection rate is merely 15%. While Europe’s and America’s collection rate are sitting at 35% and 17% respectively. These figures indicate that people are not educated for e-waste recycling or there is a lack of recycling promotion. Regarding the collection rate, Europe is in the lead. This is likely a result of the launch of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Producer Compliance Scheme. This program encourages the producers to finance part of the collection and recycling process of their products. Hong Kong, Russia, India among the others, have also launched similar legislations.



The trend is clear: encourage the producers to take part in the recycling process. Drives them to incorporate the recyclability aspect into their product design. Aim at creating more efficient and sustainable e-waste management from the source.

E-Waste Recycling Industry Development

There are 2 major players in the e-waste recycling industry. The producers and The recycling companies; Plus a rising star - Urban mining firms.


Major global electronic device producers, such as Apple and Hewlett-Packard(HP), have launched their e-waste management program. Aiming to provide a better and effortless recycling option for their customers. Take Apple’s initiative as an example, customer can mail the used product back to Apple to recycle at no cost. They have also developed a machine named Daisy. It was tasked to disassemble iPhones. The substances recovered will be re-use in the future.


Without the economies of scale, small and medium producers may not be able to mimic what these technology giants did. Yet, with the introduction of producers compliance schemes, they are responsible to finance part of the recycling of their used products. Therefore, playing a crucial role in e-waste recycling and creating a channel for recycling companies to thrive.

Recycling Companies

E-waste is the fastest-growing stream in the domestic waste category. There are many recycling companies set sail in the last 10 years as a result.


These companies have mass recycling scale. They collect every type of e-waste to reduce the operating cost. They rely on their machinery to dismantle, sort and separate e-waste. Bundled them before selling them to the producers or refineries.

Urban Mining Firms

While a traditional gold mine can merely generate 3-5g of gold per ton of raw material on average; the e-waste "gold mine” in comparison, can recover 350g gold per ton on average. Moreover, urban mining is becoming a necessity in the foreseeable future. As in the next 15 years, the world will have 3 billion new middle-class consumers. Gradually, traditional mining won’t be able to meet the supply of raw materials on its own.


The cost-efficiency of urban mining is going to increase as our technology advances. With the demand for going “green” remains strong. Added in the continuous overconsumption on electronics. The urban mining industry is going to thrive. It may even dominate in the recycling industry in the next decade.

Why Should You Partner With UWin?

UWin provides an Eco-friendly alternative for your urban mining and recycling needs. Assisting companies to construct an Eco-friendly recycling process from beaker test to mass production.


Compare to other metal stripping process such as thermal and physical recovering, UWin’s products provide a few distinct benefits:

1.   Safety

Contrast to traditional chemical strippers, our stripping products were composed of 2 distinct characteristics: Low corrosiveness and No toxicity. These attributes make them relatively safe to handle. Furthermore, in contrast to pyrometallurgy, no harmful emission, heavy metal particles nor dust particles produced in our leaching process. It means choosing UWin as your partner will not only improve your workforce working condition but also reduce the risk of any health-related lawsuits.

2.   Financial Flexibility

Our products can accommodate different economic scale. They can be used with some simple equipment that you can gather from any typical laboratory while they work just as well should you decide to scale up your production line with machinery. For instance, with the help of a combination of an electrical inverter, a hot plate, a thermometer and a stainless steel plate. UW-700 electrolyte Gold Stripper can strip off Gold on any semiconductor as easy as using heavy machinery. You can adjust your recycling procedures according to their scales. Provide you with an immense amount of financial flexibility.

3.   Eco-friendly

All of UWin’s strippers comply with RoHS. By leaching metals via hydrometallurgy instead of pyrometallurgy, there is no VOC nor particle matter(PM 2.5) emission. Moreover, unlike other stripping chemicals on the market, UWin’s strippers are not cyanide-based and do not require the use of Aqua Regia. As a result, the liquid waste only needs little to no wastewater treatment before disposal.

4.   Targeted Stripping

Our product can perform highly selective stripping. Our wide range of products can target copper, nickel, palladium, silver, gold and other elements in the most environmentally friendly way while avoiding any damages on the substrate in the process. Contribute to your success not only in sustainable recycling but also in green branding.

5.   Ease of Purification

Our patented chemicals were formulated with the ease of purification in mind. UW-700 electrolyte Gold Stripper's gold purification process is faster with fewer procedures involved when compared to the traditional cyanide-based strippers. Yet, offer higher purity. Providing a great boost of efficiency for your urban mining production lines.

6.   Ease of Importation and Transportation

UWin’s patented products are powder form. They’re stored in recyclable plastic containers for the ease of importation and transportation. Currently, we have shipped our product across the world including China, France, Japan, the US and more.

7.   Cost Efficiency

What if you can obtain high-cost efficiency while going ‘green’? UWin can achieve both for you at the same time.  Cutting costs has never been easier.


Wastewater treatment can be a petty cash expense


Think of this as a reward for your dedication toward environmental protection. Our products are RoHS certified by EU and produce little to none liquid waste. Thus, the setup cost for your wastewater treatment facility is more economical than ever before.


Wave Goodbye to lengthy refining procedures and impurity


Many countries have restricted sales or even banned the usage of toxic chemicals such as cyanide. Therefore, companies opted to use Aqua Regia instead. However, with its highly corrosive property, it is unable to be selective in the stripping process. Thus, significantly increase the time and cost of refining the dissolved materials. UWin’s strippers can perform highly selective stripping on the metals that you desire, significantly reduce your time and cost while providing exceptional leaching yield.

Go “Greener” and Become a “Gold Digger” with UWin Today

UWin provides innovative and technical solutions tailored to your company needs. From providing the Eco-friendly chemicals that you desire, assist you with designing and setting up your disassembly line, to kick-starting your used products recycling process with “green” in mind. UWin will be alongside you on your “green” journey.