One thing that you’ll find everyone hooked onto these days is the beloved mobile phone! Within a couple of decades, cell phones have managed to become the indispensable part of our lives.

Technology is taking rapid strides! Nothing is probably growing at a faster pace as the mobile phone manufacturing industry. Every other day, we have new apps and updates out in the market. The transition is so fast that within a span of a few months, new phone models are getting released making the older ones obsolete.

As per a recent survey conducted - on an average, a cell phone user changes his/her phone every 22 months. In close collaboration with the mobile manufacturing firms, Telecom sector has already come up with new plans that encourage their users to make a change at least once a year. Quite evidently, figures are closing on pretty soon!

So what exactly happens to all those phones that eventually get replaced by a brand new variant? Well, some of these get bundled into the corners of your drawers and the remaining ones are simply thrown away.

If statistics are anything to go by, 50 million metric tons of e-waste is disposed of every year around the world! A fairly good percentage of this amounts to the cell phones. Due to the lack of knowledge and necessary awareness, only 12.5% of this waste is actually recycled and rest usually ends up in landfills or ocean floor beds.

Each one of us needs to acknowledge this grave concern of massive amounts of e-waste lying around and posing a threat to the environment and life on our planet. Mobile phone recycling and their safe and secure disposal is not merely a requirement but a huge responsibility that we all need to commit to.

Some of the discarded devices are at the end of their usability and life cycle. However, most of them are given up just to go one model up. Why dump, when the working phones can actually be refurbished and reused?

Growing Dumps Of E-Waste: A Problem That Is Avoidable

An interesting fact to note here is that most of the so-called e-waste is actually not waste at all! A good count of mobile devices gets thrown simply because a new variant just got launched and not because of the functionality issues.

So what does this mean? More often than not, these devices are in the perfect running condition. Hence, these can be easily reused, refurbished, and recycled.

E-waste, when not disposed of properly, is like a poison to the environment, which can cause highly devastating effects. The cell phone constituents like lead, bromine, mercury, and chlorine are lethal, which can seep into the earth and water bodies, thus poisoning the groundwater, soil, crops, and oceans.

Some of the visible symptoms of e-waste contamination include lung inflammation, coughing, thyroid issues, and even death in extreme cases.

The problem of e-waste is comparatively new and the governments across the world are yet to come up with some concrete laws and guidelines to tackle this menace in a proper and stringent manner.

We have the needed technology for the safe and secure mobile phone recycling and disposal. All that is required is the awareness amongst the bulk users like corporates house and business firms to successfully drive it down. A movement initiated from a higher level has a tendency to pick the pace and encourage the masses en route.

Recycling the old cell phone devices have innumerable financial as well as environmental benefits on offer. Let us have a closer look at these as under.

Proper Disposal Of Hazardous Material

An e-waste recycler also referred to as e-cycler, has a proper inbuilt mechanism, which ensures that all the hazardous constituents of a mobile device are securely handled and segregated.

Various components like mercury, cadmium, lead, etc. are separately collected and refined. Later on, these can be put to use in different applications. This procedure effectively handles and prevents the possibility of environmental contamination and encourages the practice of re-use.

Extracting Precious Metals  

Do you know that your mobile phone actually contains precious metals like gold, silver, and copper?

As a general rule, against every one million mobile devices that are recycled, a closer to 45000 pounds of these precious metals are recovered!

This means, for a million cell phones that were simply tossed away in a garbage bin, a whopping $62 million worth of copper, silver, and even gold also went along. Now, what a waste that is! Simply by committing to recycle, you can change that.

That is not all! Recycling 100 million mobile devices mean the generation of 2 KW of energy. This is huge and can help power close to 25000 homes for a complete one year. Another big reason to say yes to recycling!

Let Someone Reuse Your Device

As we mentioned earlier, a good number of mobile devices that are discarded have no functional issues whatsoever. So the working devices can be given to someone who needs it. Second-hand devices are inexpensive and easier to own for the people with lower strata of income.

You can also be a part of a noble cause and donate these to the various charities and organisations who have such requirements. Some of the reputed mobile phone recycling companies have genuine connections where these donations can be made.

Few phone companies also have buyback options where they take your old cell phone against the new device purchased.

Different Components Of Your Phone Can Be Put To Use Elsewhere

A mobile phone constitutes of various components. When a device reaches ‘end of life', these components can be safely taken out through a standard process so that these can be used elsewhere. As a result, even when a mobile phone loses its functionality, its parts do not go waste.

Recycled Phones Can Be Refurbished

Some phones have functional issues like battery draining, application malfunction, etc. Apparently, these have not reached the end of life and with few tweaks, can be set to the proper working order. The process of fixing the functionality issues of the phone is termed as refurbishment.

Refurbished phones are available in the market at a reduced price and even with a warranty period.

Quite convincingly, mobile phone recycling can help us and our planet in more than one ways possible. The change starts with us. Each one of us is capable of making a positive impact. 
So, next time you venture out to purchase a new cell phone device, first commit to the cause of recycling your older one in a proper manner.


Published by Derek Lotts