Recycling Cell Phones

Recycling Cell Phones / A Call to Action

Cellular phones or mobile phones are one of the most ubiquitous gadgets in today’s society. It can be found almost anywhere because of its usefulness as one of our leading communications tools.

recycling cell phones

No self-respecting businessman will be caught dead without at least one mobile phone. In fact most of us use them to keep in touch on a daily basis.

-photo to the left by Gaetan Lee-

Cell phones are no longer a luxury for the tech savvy but a necessity in a world constantly pressed for time. We need and love them so much that we replace them with newer and better models more frequently.

As of 2003 in the United States alone there are more than 500 million cell phones waiting to be recycled. These devices are still being kept or are have already been introduced to the waste stream.

This year another 130 million will be added and even more are projected to be added next year. The enormous number of cell phones and other mobile devices are presenting a growing concern for the environment.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has urged people to recycle their devices instead of merely adding them to the nation’s landfills.

Recycling Cell Phones / Why Bother?

The average Americans purchase new cell phones every 18 to 24 months. The US Environmental Protection Agency says that Americans discard 100 to 125 million phones each year. This creates about 65,000 tons of trash each year making old cell phones the fastest growing type of manufactured trash in the nation.

Next to computers and monitors, cell phones are becoming one of the leading sources of electronic trash. Electronic trash contains an enormous amout of toxic material. And this toxic trash is clogging up landfills and polluting our air and our groundwater more and more every year.

“Every recycled cell phone makes a difference,” said Maria Vickers, acting director of EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. “The energy saved by recycling even one cell phone is enough to power a laptop for 44 hours.”

Recycling Cell Phones / Putting Valuable Materials to Good Use

Cell phones are made from valuable materials. These materials all require energy and natural resources to extract and produce. As with other types of recycling, this type also results in savings of energy and other valuable and non-renewable resources.

Cell phone recycling also results in a great reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases. A big market for refurbished and reconditioned cell phones exists.

If a cell phone is no longer usable all of its components are nearly 100 percent recyclable. At this moment only about 10 percent of all discarded cell phones are recycled each year.

ABS-PC 29%
Ceramics 16%
Cu and compounds 15%
Silicon Plastics 10%
Epoxy 9%
Other Plastics 8%
Iron 3%
PPS 2%
Flame retardant 1%
Nickel and compounds 1%
Zinc and compounds 1%
Silver and compounds 1%
Al, Sn, Pb, Au, Pd, Mn, etc. less than 1%

Recycling Cell Phones / Give To Your Favorite Cause

You don’t use your old cell phone anymore. You’re happy with your new one. So why accumulate clutter when the extra space is sooo much more freeing?

Benefits-of-Recycling wants to help the unneccesary toxic build-up that occurs when cell phones are disposed of in a careless way. So what’s a conscientious person do with their unwanted cell phone?

So glad you asked! Simply check out one of the appropriate charity organizations below. Choose the one that resonates with you, and relax knowing you did a good thing:

Cell Phones For Soldiers
Phones are collected and converted into prepaid calling cards for the men and women over seas. In 2008 this program amassed more than 12 million minutes of prepaid calling cards for U.S. troops.

Collective Good
This organization frequently offers incentives to those that donate their cell phones. Their latest incentive program enables music fans to recycle their cell phones and be rewarded with $5 credits to the artists stores for each phone recycled – up to $25 in credits!

Phones 4 Charity
This organization allows individuals and businesses to collect used cell phones and Phones 4 Charity will send a check to help support your organization’s revenue objectives.

Shelter Alliance
Shelter Alliance is the largest cell phone recycling program in the United States. Their participants have earned over $7,000,000 since 2001. Shelter Alliance offers collection programs for organizations, cell phone donation programs for businesses and individuals, and a unique community service program for students.


Recycling Cell Phones / Putting Valuable Materials to Good Use

For an additional list of links to help you find the right place to recycle and/or sell your old cell phone, consider these:

Here is a wonderful resource for how to get money for your old cell phones in the US and UK: http://www.squidoo.com/cell-phone-recycling

Here’s another good one for the US: http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/3834

Cell phone recycling info/US: http://www.epa.gov/osw/partnerships/plugin/cellphone/

Here’s an international way for iphone users to get money for their old iphones (and recycle): http://www.oksana.com.au/phone_iPhone_3G.htm

In Australia: http://www.wwf.org.au/act/takeaction/recycle-your-mobile/
Sources

http://www.epa.gov/osw/partnerships/plugin/cellphone/
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/2f0711847e1f1c18852576f80053f5fd!OpenDocument
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125657764&ft=1&f=1007&sc=YahooNews

For more information on recycling cell phones near you just input the phrase, recycling cell phone in ‘your area’ in your search engine search bar. Or go to earth911.com.

Thank you for visiting the Recycling Cell Phones page. For more information on the importance of recycling follow these links:

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