With the ceaseless influx of new mobile phones, it looks that people are purchasing a new phone almost monthly, but what happens to their old phones?
Most people are not mindful of mobile phone recycling or the important role it plays in protecting the earth from the unsafe chemical elements contained in mobile phones. Recycling old mobile phones is a safe and easy way to go green and help oneself to protect the environment. Many of the mobile phone companies recycle mobile phones. There are also private companies and non-profit organizations that recycle mobile phones.
Mobile phones contain Mercury, Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium and other toxic substances. When the phones are thrown into the landfills, these chemicals seep into the water table and raise the levels of chemicals in the water. When the mobile phones are incinerated these chemicals raise up into the air reducing the quality of the air we breathe. When it rains the chemicals that have been released to the air during burning is then returned to the earth in the rain causing more impairment to the water table.
As awareness rises about the damage mobile phones pose, more and more people are recycling them. Some people however are not mindful these programs exist. Not only does recycling prevent the addition of harmful toxins to our water and air, but it also aids to increase the stock of certain metals. A little known fact about recycling is that by recycling electronic products the earth's natural resources can be protected. When precious metals such as gold, silver and copper are recovered through recycling it implies that less of these metals have to be mined.
According to U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2006-3097, "Less than 1 percent of the millions of cell phones retired and discarded annually are recycled. When large numbers of cell phones become obsolete, large quantities of valuable metals end up either in storage or in landfills. The amount of metals potentially recoverable would make a significant addition to total metals recovered from recycling in the United States and would supplement virgin metals derived from mining." .
There are thousands of mobile phones laying in drawers and garages just waiting to be recycled. Some private companies will pay for old mobile phones. Whether you prefer to sell your old mobile phone to one of these companies, donate it to a non-profit organization or recycle it at a recycling center that takes mobile phones, you can aid the environment by recycling your mobile phone.