Veolia outlines rare earth plans

Veolia outlines rare earth recovery plans

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

A new electronics recycling facility operated by Veolia Environmental Services will also recover rare earth metals from e-scrap and other sources.

The 55,000-square-foot West Bridgewater, Massachusetts plant processes electronics, mercury containing devices and fluorescent lamps, and the company announced plans to begin recovering rare earth metals from scrap processed at the site soon. The facility processes approximately 15 million pounds of electronic scrap, lamps and mercury devices annually.

The announcement to expand its range of processing services to include rare earth metal recovery comes amid a general push for greater recycling of these materials. China controls approximately 95 percent of global rare earth metal output, which are essential to the production of integrated circuits, batteries and solar panels, and the country has imposed strict export quotas on the materials during the past several years, although recently, the industry has seen emerging signs that China's market share could rapidly decline in the near future.

Many companies, such as Toyota, as well as governments in the European Union, Japan and the United States have recently taken steps to fund research on ways to cost-effectively recover rare earth metals during the recycling process.

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