The head of the Formosa Association of Resource Recycling told The New York Times the nation's robust electronics industry was feeding into the recycling industry, which mines for gold and other valuable materials among mountains of old equipment.
"Recycling became huge because of the electronics firms," said Chen Wei-Hsian, secretary-general of the organization. "That is why it's grown from about 100 recycling outfits to over 2,000."
Recyclers reported revenues last year of about 65.8 billion Taiwan dollars ($2.2 billion) compared to nearly 25 billion Taiwan dollars ($842 million) 10 years earlier.
The Times said one recycling company has been considering changing its main focus to gold trading since it can harvest gold that is 99.99 percent pure from discarded electronics.