Precious metals are to be extracted from street sweepings by waste management firm Veolia Environmental Services.
The company will take the road dust, and extract precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium to recycle them.
Veolia Environmental Services head of technology Richard Kirkman told the Sunday Times: “The precious metals are in trace amounts and they are quite valuable. We have brought together two technologies – conventional soil washing, which removes plastics, metals and glass from street sweepings, and a technique that we use to remove palladium from the fine dust that is left after we have washed the soil.”
It will send the material to its processing facility in Rugby and during the process large stones, glass, plastic and cans will be removed with magnets picking out iron and steel. The remaining dust will then be put through the process to extract precious metals, with around £80,000 worth of palladium extracted from 30,000 tonnes of dust.