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E-Waste and Us: 17,000 Tons Trashed Each Year (Infographic)

Can we combat e-waste and create a recycling culture?

With the proliferation of smart phones, tablets, notebooks and various other electronic devices in our everyday work and personal lives comes another thing -- e-waste.

The average person replaces his or her mobile phone every 18 months, and in the U.S. alone, more than 130 million mobile phones are discarded each year (as of 2010 -- that number is likely higher at this point). That equals 17,000 tons of e-waste, some of which is recycled, but much of which is just thrown out. 

But increased recycling equates to harvesting valuable and precious metals found in complex electronics, according to the infographic by below. What's the primary metal that can be pulled? Find the answer below (click infographic to enlarge):