The Hottest Thing in Recycling: Cellphones


recycling 300x300 The Hottest Thing in Recycling: CellphonesThe earth is witnessing the last of many incarnations of cell phones and by the time this article sees the light of day, chances are another generation of phones has arrived in the shops. With a cell phone density of well over 100% in Australia, how does recycle Brisbane cope with the recycling of old, used or outdated cell phones? On a worldwide basis computers and computer monitors still take the dubious distinction of contributing more to the growing e-waste problem than phones, but phones are catching up quickly and their toxic electronics are already playing havoc with air and water quality coast to coast.

The average user gets a replacement cell phone every 1.5 to 2 years. Old phones which contain some of the worst hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic are close to being the fastest growing garbage which is actually manufactured rather than grown.

Fortunately for society a new breed of e-trash recycler has seen the benefits of recycling cell phones. This entrepreneur takes the used phones, remanufacturers them and then sells them back into the market which focuses on the developing world, thereby providing affordable communications to these citizens who otherwise would be denied access to the modern world. These companies also arrange for the recycling of batteries which no longer function.

The companies who are deeply involved in the remanufacture and resale of these redundant phones are charities who fund certain worthwhile global charities with the profits made from this activity. These companies manage the collection of old cell phones by setting up drop boxes where people normally go to replace their phone. Once a new phone is purchased they are urged to dispose of their old one on the spot. Cell phone recycling is catching on and people are really beginning to understand that cell phones, just like paper, plastic, glass and metal is also good for the overall health of the environment.

For those phones which are beyond repair, the precious metals they contain are recycled. The typical cell phone circuit board contains a number of metals which if not recovered would cost a great deal to source through mining and refining of the ore. This savings as well as saving landfills from being the repository of these toxic wastes are only two of the waste management benefits of cell phone recycling.


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