Datacenter Mining, digging for gold?

Datacenter Mining: The process of reclaiming compounds and elements from products, buildings and waste out of the datacenter arena

Why should we care? Datacenter mining lessens environmental impact, rids landfills of reusable materials, lowers energy costs and conserves natural resources.

We all know that E-waste is serious business and if not proper handled it can cause severe environmental damage and harm to human health. But there is also another side of the E-waste coin. E-waste is also about wasting precious metals and other materials. Proper handling of the e-waste of a data center should be part of the life cycle assessment of your IT infrastructure, this is a technique to assess each and every impact associated with all the stages of a process from cradle-to-grave (i.e., from raw materials through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling).

It is all about Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) are part of the European waste hierarchy, which refers to the 5 steps included in the article 4 of the Waste Framework Directive of the European Union:

  • Prevention – preventing and reducing waste generation.
  • Reuse and preparation for reuse – giving the products a second life before they become waste.
  • Recycle – any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes. It includes composting and it does not include incineration.
  • Recovery – some waste incineration based on a political non-scientific formula that upgrades the less inefficient incinerators.
  • Disposal – processes to dispose of waste be it landfilling, incineration, pyrolisis, gasification and other finalist solutions.

How does this Datacenter Mining works? Have a look at this pdf:  Datacenter Mining