Mint announces U.S. sites for safe, sustainable electronics recycling

Each year, Americans send 7.2 million tons of electronic waste to landfills — old smartphones, televisions, computers and more. 

Mint has developed a low-carbon and sustainable process that diverts everyday e-waste from landfill by extracting and refining the precious metals inside to make them usable again.

World-first clean technology

Mint has developed a proprietary solution that selectively and sustainably extracts critical and high value metals such as gold, copper and silver from printed circuit boards in old electronics, including old laptops and phones.

The valuable metals that are recovered from this process can then be returned to the local economy to create a closed-loop supply chain. The chemicals and solutions used are also recycled for further processing at the indoor facility. 

With the proven success of Mint’s world-first e-waste biorefinery in Sydney Australia, we are now planning to build a network of small biorefineries around the United States.

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“Decarbonising the global economy is the greatest opportunity for innovation the world has ever seen.”

Bill Gates

June 2020

Quick facts

100% indoor operations

25 high-quality direct jobs in a sustainable industry

All solutions safely contained indoors in bunded areas

Minimal traffic and machinery movement

Transforming e-waste into circular green metals

The world’s natural underground supply of metals is depleting quickly. Our technology reduces the need for harmful traditional underground mining to extract these irreplaceable materials.

In our city-scale facilities, we can process 4400 tons of e-waste per year.

At a single e-waste biorefinery, we can return approximately 600 kg of gold and 1,000 tons of copper back into circulation per year.

Building on the potential of the U.S. industrial strategy

Mint’s biorefineries and technology strengthen the CHIPs Act vision for the future, building an entirely new on-shore circular green economy, supplying critical green metals required for electrification and creating skilled jobs in a sustainable sector across the U.S.

Secure domestic supply of critical materials 

Strengthen U.S. supply chain resilience by reducing geographic concentration risks in the critical semiconductor sector and creating an ecosystem of reliable suppliers. 

Climate change and clean energy

Promoting clean energy technologies, reducing carbon emissions, and transitioning to a more sustainable and green economy.

Workforce development 

To ensure that workers are equipped with the skills necessary for the jobs of the future in sustainable, green industries. 

Why are we scaling to the U.S.? 

  • The United States is a central hub for global technology and electronics, home to many great original equipment manufacturers.
  • The United States currently produces 7.2 million tons of e-waste each year. The amount of e-waste created is increasing at a faster rate than it’s being recycled. 
  • Processing e-waste locally means faster processing times and increased metal sovereignty. The metals recovered can be repurposed back into the local economy, and used in industries where they are needed most, such as future technology and electrification.  

Engaging with local communities 

Mint is passionate about addressing the global e-waste problem at every level. Through our community outreach program, Get eWise, we work with local schools and organizations to provide the education and tools to help drive real change at a grassroots level. Learn more about Get e-Wise and how to get involved below. 

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Frequently asked questions

Who is Mint and what do we do? 

Mint is a clean technology company founded in New Zealand.
Learn more about Mint on our About us page, and read the latest news on Mint on our News page.  

How safe is Mint’s technology? 

Mint uses a low-temperature technology that produces significantly less carbon emissions than traditional mining and conventional smelting. Chemicals used at our biorefinery are either recycled back into our process or treated for safe disposal into local waste streams.

The low-impact nature of our technology means our facilities don’t cause environmental harm and can be built within established cities to treat e-waste where it’s produced.

Will the facility be noisy and messy? 

All our operations take place indoors. There will be very minimal traffic to and from the facility and no large stockpiles of e-waste held on-site for extended amounts of time.

Who uses the metals and where? 

The metals extracted from the e-waste are invested back into the local U.S. economy. The metals are used by U.S. based manufacturers to create new electronics and technologies essential to powering current and future industries. This supports a secure and circular supply of these metals within U.S. borders.

What does this add to domestic supply chain? 

One Mint biorefinery will add 1,000 tons of copper and 600 kgs of gold to the domestic supply chain per year. Copper and gold are key components to modern day electronics and clean energy technologies. Copper demand is set to outpace supply by 2025 with a 6.6 million ton deficit by 2030. Currently, the U.S. only produces 1,300 tons of copper per year. A single Mint facility will close to double the production volume of Copper in the U.S.

Do we accept old electronics at our site?

We don’t collect old electronics directly from the public at our facility. We partner with local recyclers that specialise in collecting and sorting e-waste who then sell us their PCB feedstock for further processing as and when needed.

How can people get involved?  

  • Speak to your local schools and organisations about the importance of e-waste recycling.
  • Drop off your e-waste at your nearest recycler. 
  • Keep an eye on our careers page for new opportunities with Mint.