Of course, when steel, lead, platinum, and plastics are wired together in a machine, it becomes a challenge to get them out. But the UNU report quantified the value of extracting them. While it may not be economically viable right now to get every single valuable plastic, metal, or other material out of electronic waste, it's certainly a supply line that's worthy of consideration. For example, the amount of gold in discarded electronics worldwide last year was equal to 11 percent of the gold mined out of the Earth in 2013. That's a lot of shiny.