I recall years ago reading an article on using a similar process to pull contaminated radioactive metals out of the ground. Seems quite a number of plants require metals to grow properly.
As much as the forced hype on IoT, I still feel TNBT (The next big thing) is bioelectronics. Since plants can pull the carbon out of CO2 to build structure, a method similar to FDM 3D printing using organics, should be able to lay down layers of Graphine or even possibly the diamond matrix.
It may be possible to use some kind of a targeted farming where the e-waste is used as a manure and plants specifically more likely to absorb the precious metals from the e-waste are grown in such targeted farms.
The produce from such farms can then be processed to recover the metals.
This could be an envorinment friendly option to recycle e-waste.
I think when we run out of these rare metals, we will then develop a way that when we discountinue a device, the non-essential part will chemically breakdown leaving the useful metals. I do not see how the world can run in the next 100 years if there is no new way of doing things as these materials are not regenerative.
Never read of that one but it sound great. But it is truly non fancy to put bio before anything electronics as electronics is the most polluting and non-biologized all of modern industrial processes. Etching and the whole thing done in clean waste water and use really bad chemicals.
The article brings out a very important point on e-waste. In developing nations like India, e-waste recycling is still at its infancy. There are very few companies that do that and they are considered NGOs and they cannot compete with regular industries. Collection of e-waste from source is almost not there. You are at your will to either get it recycled by going and giving personally to the right manufacturer or just throw on the streets and no one cares. Its hig time waste is seen seriously and people come forward to get it recycled. It must be a citizen's responsibility.