Every 18 to 24 months, the average American gets a new mobile device. Companies are racing to unleash the latest and greatest technology, with recent innovations ranging from 5G service capabilities to fingerprint scanners.
The ever-shortening lifecycle of mobile phones has led to a huge increase in the number of old and unused devices – and unfortunately, they aren’t being handled properly. The EPA estimates that a mere 11% of older mobile devices are recycled each year. Like many electronics, cell phones contain hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium.
With hundreds of millions of new phones being produced--and purchased--each year, and with one of the lowest recycling rates among electronics, it’s easy to see that the potential environmental impact of these old devices is quite large.
If you don’t donate or trade your phone in when upgrading to a newer mobile phone (most cell phone companies off this feature on newer model mobile phones), then you should recycle it. Here are 3 easy ways to recycle your devices.
1. Find a collection event in your area – Collection events are held all the time and generally are free to the public. We post our collection events (and those of our customers and industry friends) on our Facebook page.
2. Check with your local city or county – Your local landfill or solid waste division will often accept electronics for recycling and hold similar collection events.
3. Donate it to a charity – many charities, like Goodwill will take and recycle it —This helps them accomplish their missions.
Through proper cell phone recycling, potential environmental and health impacts are reduced substantially. Older phones can be reused and donated to those who need them, providing an important asset in peoples’ lives. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that you don’t just leave your phones in a drawer or stored away somewhere else. They might not be any good to you anymore, but they can still be put to good use.