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The Telegraph reported that Veolia Environmental Services (UK) plc, one of the United Kingdom’s biggest street-cleaning companies, believes that by “mining” the debris its vehicles collect, it will be able to find at least 1 million pounds worth of materials, including platinum, palladium and rhodium.

The Telegraph reported that Veolia Environmental Services (UK) plc, one of the United Kingdom’s biggest street-cleaning companies, believes that by “mining” the debris its vehicles collect, it will be able to find at least 1 million pounds worth of materials, including platinum, palladium and rhodium.

As quoted in the market news:

These metals are commonly used in catalytic converters and tiny amounts can be thrown out by car exhausts, which then settle on street surfaces. The company believes it may even find traces of gold and silver in the sweepings, as tiny fragments can rub off clothes, shoes and jewellery.

Until now, street sweepings have been sent straight to landfill or compost sites, but Veolia has now established the country’s first plant to extract precious metals from the material, at Ling Hall, near Rugby, Warwickshire.

The rubbish will go through a number of processes, including filtration and chemical washes, to extract the valuable substances.

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