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Why Recycle My Mobile Device? Smartphone Tablet etc

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Why you should recycle mobile phones and then proudly say I recycle my mobile device.
© Bellemedia | Dreamstime Stock Photos

When people ask “why recycle my mobile device“, we reply that it is important that you do recycle all mobile phones, cell phones, tablets etc. That is because recovering the gold, silver, palladium and copper found in 50 million cell phones would reduce the demand for mining fresh metals by nearly 14 tons annually, according to recycling industry experts.

Mobile Phones Contain Hazardous Chemicals

The toxic components of cell phones include the rare-earth elements, lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. If thrown in the trash and sent to incinerators or landfills, environmental contamination can occur from combustion and leaching into soil and groundwater.

Mobile Phones Contain What Are Known As “Conflict Minerals”

Do you know that by not recycling your smart phone, or even a very old phone in a small way you add to the world's human suffering. That's because you increase the demand for “Conflict minerals”, which are resources that are mined and used to influence and finance armed conflict, human rights abuses, and violence.ᅠAn example is the fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo that's known to be financially supported by the profits from mining the rare-earth minerals used in electronics, including cell phones.ᅠ

The most important minerals here are tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold.

If I Recycle My Mobile Device – What That Means for the Global Environment

Have you ever considered exactly what happens to your old cellphone when your agreement ends.ᅠDo you keep it in the house, up until several years later on, it is so out of date, that you simply bin it. When these old phones are eventually thrown out, you and many other people say; “why recycle my mobile device”, because it's not worth any money any more!

But, for the benefit of future generations you should really make a point of recycling it. This may simply mean removing the SIM card and dropping it into the correct WEEE small electrical and electronic items bin at your local recycling centre. Alternatively, the newer phones and especially those that have just come out of contract and are only about two years old, will command enough money if sold to a mobile phone recycling company that it is worth doing this.ᅠ

However, many people do not provide this a second thought as they drop their old phone in the garbage, nevertheless cellphone recycling is ending up being a concern that can not be neglected due to its serious effect on the environment. The raw products, minerals and resources that are eaten to make your phone are bigger than you would think.
Simply look at these figures, the average phone consists of silver weighing as much as one and a half laptop computers, and enough gold for 50 wedding event rings. Put this together with the really short life span of these phones, and a low recycling rate and this creates a serious potential for environmental pollution.
Recycling just one Lithium Ion Battery, prevents the contamination of the equivalent of up to 3 Olympic pools, of water.
Look at it another way. Recycling one million mobile phones is like taking 33 automobiles off the road for an entire year. Recycling 42 smart phones would save the energy utilised by one family for an entire year.ᅠ

Few Mobile Phones Are Recycled

I do personally recycle my mobile device, but I am in the minority, the UK it is reckoned that only about 11% of smartphones are recycled.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,

ᅠ“More than 100 million cell phones are no longer used annually. If we recycled all of them, we would save enough energy to power 18,500 U.S homes for a year.”

EPA reported that in 2009, 141 million mobile devices (including cell phones, smartphones, PDAs, and pagers) were ready no longer in use. However, only 11.7 million (about 8%) devices were collected for recycling while 129 million devices were disposed.

See more at: http://rmcp.earthworksaction.org/why_recycle

Another good way of doing your bit by recycling tech (and recouping some cash in the process), is selling your old smartphones, tablets and other tech online to a company like Plunc.

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    • Davet Jomphe
    • 08/04/2018

    I was made aware that there’s gold nuggets in some cell phones. Are these nuggets expensive or how much is the value of it in most phones in the golds market today?

    • Pete V. Martinez
    • 14/04/2018

    I hate seeing those devices die so I take them from the bins before they can be destroyed.

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