Cell phones became a fundamental part of our lives that we cannot easily part our ways from. Although the digital age has become a blessing in disguise, it is not all that fun and games when it comes to the safety of our environment.
Phones can be used for different purposes that meet our needs, nevertheless, the constant disposal of such electronics will lead to hazardous consequences if left unnoticed.
That is when cell phone recycling comes into action and can be very easy especially these days. How? This article will guide you through the different processes of cell phones recycling, the benefits of recycling and the dangers from refraining from it.
I- The recycling process : How to recycle cell phones
Every cell phone can be reused and due to the materials, it contains it must be reserved and discarded responsibly. Otherwise, we might risk contaminating our precious environment with toxic substances.
The first piece of advice we can start with is giving your old cell phone to a friend or someone in need. Think about it, why would you fill the land with still functional phones when you can give it to someone else? Begin by wiping all your data, sign out of your social media accounts and perform a factory reset. Your phone is not only safer but also more useful.
But, what if your old, cracked cell phone doesn’t work anymore or not as it should ? In this case an alternative method that permits you to dispose without polluting the environment with biodegradable materials is a must.
A good start would be to contact your Cellular provider; they may have trade-in programs and offer help on various recycling options.
Trade-Ins and Takeback Programs :
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) includes a number of options on recycling and donating electronics. Prominent Cell carriers such as AT&T , T-Mobile, and Verizon provide trade-in programs of any type of cell phone that is still functioning. You can experience with other manufacturers because some only accept their own product. It is also reasonable to go to Apple and Samsung as they offer trade-in programs for their own phones and on the other side, they’ll give you credit or a gift in exchange. (1)
Certain retailers may also offer these trade-in programs such as Amazon and drop off sites such as Best Buy and Staples. These retailers accept recycling electronics and other accessories as well.
Drop Off sites :
An alternative option for recycling is visiting websites that collect household batteries and accepts all types of cell phones. It works with many retail and government businesses and public agencies to ensure the safety and health of our landfill free from toxic waste.
II- The Benefits of Cell Phones Recycling
Like any electronic device, cell phones have some particularly valuable materials like metal, copper, platinum, and gold. Wasting such previous resources would be a very foolish act. Thus, its immediate conserving not only decreases toxic gas emission that is produced during the manufacturing process, but also preserves these materials.
Here are the 4 ultimate reasons why you should recycle your cell phones.
- With an estimated 10% of cell phones that are being recycled in the United states, it calls for an absolute intervention of all of us. First, 1 recycled cell phone results in saving enough energy to turn on a laptop for 44 hours.
- A fun fact, did you know that there are approximately 130 million cell phones being annually wasted in the United States. Hence, if we recycled those instead of tossing them in landfill, we would have saved power for about 24.000 homes a year by that time.
- Statistically, each 1 million recycled cell phones can recuperate 75 pound of Gold, 772 pounds of silver, and 35.274 pounds of copper. There are other materials as well that can be recovered. (2)
- Last but not least, electronic devices are known to contain toxic and hazardous substances such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, etc. Henceforth, if negligently wasted in the landfill it will most definitely defile air, soil, and water sources.
III. The Dangers of not Recycling Cell Phones :
Like aforementioned, despite the fact that these electronic gadgets are highly beneficial, they also have a grievous downside. With the ever-rising increase of cell phone and other electronic consumption, we are bound to toss these wastes in the trash. Hence, they end up either polluting our precious land, contaminating the air with toxins and worst of all before the ocean and causing the death of millions of sea animals.
In 2010 an estimate of 649.000 of electronic waste out of 2.44 million were recycled. In 2014, the EPA contested that 27% of our electronic waste is recycled annually with our growing consumption continuing to grow. This means today this number has even tripled. (3)
Let us all call for action right now before it’s too late. Let’s save our planet and our environment from suffering that can be avoided. It is your choice and within your control to make a stop. Imagine recycling the used materials instead of making brand new ones that will result in air pollution, soil, and water contamination. You can save power and avoid e-waste all over our lands.
Let us make Mother earth a heaven to live in. It begins with you. Remember that.
Verizon.com. 2021. Device & Phone Trade In Guide | Verizon. [online] Available at: <https://www.verizon.com/support/how-to-recycle-device/> [Accessed 26 September 2021].
(2) Younes, L., 2021. Don’t Let That Used Phone Go To Waste | The EPA Blog. [online] Blog.epa.gov. Available at: <https://blog.epa.gov/2013/11/14/dont-let-that-used-phone-go-to-waste/> [Accessed 29 September 2021].
(3) Namias, J., 2021. THE FUTURE OF ELECTRONIC WASTE RECYCLING IN THE UNITED STATES: Obstacles and Domestic Solutions. [ebook] New York: Columbia University, p.24. Available at: <https://allgreenrecycling.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Namias_Thesis_07-08-1312.pdf> [Accessed 29 September 2021].