Many of the 20 million or so old mobile phones we upgrade annually in the UK end up at the back of a draw at home! However a massive number are simply deposited in the bin by their owners. A lot of folks are unaware of how easy it is to recycle mobile phones.
Mobile phones contain peripheral substances that can be harmful to the environment when not disposed of properly. Typical toxic compounds include copper, lead, cadmium and beryllium (and let’s not forget the unsettling fact that arsenic is commonly present in the makeup of some mobile phones!)
In addition to such toxic compounds, an unpleasant array of non-toxic materials (e.g. precious metals, glass and plastics) can be found in almost any mobile phone. Arguably plastics are the most difficult to dispose of, as plastic is fairly indestructible in terms of natural degradation. Estimates range from 500 to 1000 years!
Around 40% of the lead found in landfills is thought to originate from disposed electronics. Lead can be incredibly harmful to all of us, and by that we mean plants, animals and people! If we can’t refurbish your phone or harvest spares, we DON’T just dump it in a landfill. Components are separated and disposed of using sanctioned methods.
If you don’t know whether you can be bothered with mobile phone recycling, we urge you to take a look at how much cash your old phone could make you. Combined environmental and financial benefits are sure to outweigh letting your old phone gather dust in the back of a draw!