June 15 - iPads are packed with valuable rare earth metals, but we throw away billions of dollars worth in old versions every year. Nigel Stevenson visits a company that's turning trash into treasure
-- apple products are so eagerly anticipated they can even cause riots. But while frantically to upgrade the latest model the old versions also capturing imaginations. One man's trash is another's treasure. Because these gadgets aren't untapped source of precious and rare earth metals. China currently controls 95%. Of the UK's supply of critical metals pushing up costs and threatening to put the brakes on domestic manufacturing. And Byron -- tried to salvage some of the billions of pounds of metals we sent to landfill each year in the form of electrical waste. Well -- -- -- these looks like this is you'll spend -- -- pass but what we're gonna do now is take one policy fight lay down here yet again and again back to it. And John at these guys described. What happens now if we could unfold this that don't take it away. That's the fun it -- capsule reviews of what we've got here are just peeled away the back. As you can see here we have -- right factories. As well is that the circuitry and then. Memories and irons and the city and saw that shows -- -- past where. So then what we have here is is the that the mine workings screener. And this is the president can signs. The really interesting stuff in terms of ridiculous -- talking about Indian -- -- in the image is in having read everything. Wouldn't really get into -- but there's there's various different leg is here -- -- -- this -- field beginning to pollute the pot some of them just plastic films. But in the areas is perhaps -- right different layers of lemon it's. And in between two of those layers is in -- which uses them to micro loans that. So it's really not in huge quantities. And to think about -- -- -- these things are being produced so I have done exactly how much in him is owned land but we do the price that. Yeah and you the market lost years in humans 615. Dollars a kilogram which is 650000. Dollars and. Identifying the metals as a laborious process as apple is notoriously tight lipped about materials it uses in its products. But extracting them it's harder still because existing recycling methods can't process them and developing new techniques require a huge investment. Not to reach 500 pound iPods containing 220 pounds in parts it's a treasure hunt with a promising bounty. Nigel Stephenson books.