What is urban mining and how is it better than traditional mining?

Urban mining is the process of converting waste products into new materials, in effect recovering materials that have already been mined or produced before. Traditional or virgin mining has a huge impact on people, it creates environmental damage, and exacerbates climate change, so it should only be done when there are no secondary materials available.

IT hardware is packed with useful materials like gold, silver, and copper (see full overview for phones), even if the phone is completely broken. Via urban mining, we can give these metals a new life and prevent the need for even more traditional mining.