BOSTON – March 3, 2023 – Schneider Electric, the global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, announced today that it is working with Camston Wrather, a sustainable mineral recovery company, to increase efficiency and control within their industry-leading e-scrap recycling operation.
Smart technology is rapidly evolving, leading to increasing rates of obsolescence for computers, cellular phones and other devices, resulting in more than 8.3 million metric tons of e-scrap in the United States each year. While this would typically be discarded into landfills or exported to overseas smelters, Camston Wrather has developed a unique metal recycling facility to recover sustainable resources, removing more than 22 metals – including rare earth minerals, like cobalt and tantalum – from end-of-life electronics. This process reduces the amount of material in landfills and is up to 90% less carbon emitting than traditional mining or smelting methods to produce these elements.
“Our growing dependence on technology and the rapid evolution of those technologies has led to a significant e-waste problem that is greatly impacting our environment,” said Luke Wray, EVP Business Development and Strategy, Camston Wrather. “We are focused on creating a more sustainable solution to address that challenge, so working with Schneider Electric to optimize our process, increase energy efficiency and lowering its carbon footprint, is critical to our success.”
In 2021, only about 4% of the 8.3 million tons of e-scrap produced in the United States was recycled domestically. The majority of that recycling was done by smelting, a process that uses about 4% of the world’s total energy and produces about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. New innovations, like those pioneered by Camston Wrather, are important to addressing the e-scrap challenge without contributing further to environmental damage.
Camston Wrather chose EcoStruxure Power and Process solutions and services to enhance operational insight and process control, drive efficiency, and reduce energy consumption in their San Diego e-scrap recovery facility. The integrated solution provides greater visibility into their electrical system with power management, unified control, and the flexibility to easily scale, replicate and adjust as their operations grow.
In optimizing their recycling operation, Camston Wrather is contributing to a more sustainable circular economy in reducing waste, reducing mining of new materials, encouraging recycling and helping companies reuse and develop products from those recycled materials.
Making recycling “green”
Today’s e-waste markets are highly fragmented, managed by smaller, localized recyclers that sell their precious metal bearing materials to larger aggregators to then send to smelters overseas for recovery. In this smelting, the material is burned in a highly carbon intensive process to recover the precious metals and other minerals. Camston Wrather’s innovative GreenTech solution enables them to process e-scrap without using heat, pressure or chemicals, for a less energy intensive and more environmentally friendly operation. In this, Camston has found a sustainable way to recover lucrative minerals in the US that can be used in next generations of the manufacturing.
“New thinking and innovative technologies are needed to address environmental challenges, including recycling materials that would otherwise contribute to our growing landfills,” said Aamir Paul, President, North America Operations, Schneider Electric. “We share Camston Wrather’s vision of a more sustainable future and are proud to partner with them to make an already environmentally beneficial process even more sustainable.”
Founded in 2014, Camston Wrather is an advanced science and engineering company specializing in the recovery of sustainable resources, including precious metals and polymers from electronic scrap using GreenTech. Based in the United States, the company is dedicated to U.S. critical mineral recovery, while providing customers a transparent and accountable end-of-life recycling process.
Camston seeks to provide innovative solutions to support customers in achieving their environmental goals by sourcing sustainable materials for manufacturing. While the company is currently focus on servicing the US, the long-term demand indicates developing a global presence will be needed to adequately handle this waste stream effectively.
For more information on Camston Wrather and their unique recycling operation, please visit www.camstonwrather.com
For more information on EcoStruxure Solutions from Schneider Electric, please visit www.se.com/us
About Schneider Electric
Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.
Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency.
We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.
We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.
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