- Many companies are looking for ways to retrieve precious metals from consumer electronics and commercial components.
- The recycling industry that anticipates growth in rare earth excavation, and rare earth mining companies are expected to grow in number as this sector gains momentum. Currently, only 12.5% of materials are recovered, according to data from 2011.
- The U.S. Department of Energy created the Critical Materials Institute in September of 2013 in order to develop technology and processes to tackle rare earth shortages. The budget for the program is $120 million for five years.
Cleantech analyst Dallas Kachan said in a report, "Recycling is perhaps the best route forward for elements where demand is expected to level off in the long run… It's only these sort of large quantity applications that are expected to drive the need for new mines."
The CEO of Waste Management addressed the issues of falling profits in recycling, stemming from a drop in commodity pricing. The lack of profitability prompted the company to approach new revenue sources, and seek new technologies.