Switzerland’s waste water is more precious than it smells. It contains three million Swiss francs ($3.1 million) worth of gold and silver each year, scientists have calculated in a new study on Tuesday.
The National Eawag Water Research Institute said that 43 kilogrammes of gold and 3 tons of silver end up in waste-water treatment plants every year, with each metal worth about 1.5 million francs.
According to the study, much of the gold flows off from gold refineries in the Ticino region, while the silver is used by the chemical and medicine industries.
Report says Switzerland is a major commodity trading hub, as well as one of the world’s biggest gold-processing countries.
Government statistics show gold accounted for more than a quarter of all exports in 2016, when Switzerland sold 298 billion francs worth of goods abroad.
“In some places in the Ticino region, the gold concentration in the sludge is so high that it might be worth recycling it,’’ the Eawag institute said in a statement. (dpa/NAN)