With a Chinese facility turning recovered electronics plastics into new plastics and a U.S. facility refining precious metals from circuitboards, Electronics Manufacturer Wistron has rapidly established itself as a cutting-edge electronics recycler.
By Adam Minter
Manufacturers dating back to Henry Ford have dreamt that they might one day collect and recycle their old products into new ones-cars into cars, computers into computers. For much of industrial history, this closed-loop recycling concept has remained an ideal more than a reality. But a groundbreaking initiative by Wistron Corp. (Taipei, Taiwan), a designer and manufacturer of some of the world's most famous consumer electronics, is finally closing the loop-and doing so profitably.
In five years, Wistron has constructed and started operating two major recycling facilities. Its U.S. facility dismantles end-of-life postconsumer electronics, sorts parts and commodities, and recovers metals from circuitboards through hydro chemical refining. It ships the separated electronics plastics to its facility in China, which converts them into postconsumer recycled resins that meet the specifications of the products it manufactures. It's literally turning old computer plastics into new ones.