The Scale of the Problem
Approximately 15 to 20 million Brits upgrade their devices every year, which leaves millions of mobile phones lying around in drawers unused. Some of them are thrown away into landfill sites causing a great deal of harm to the environment. Instead of making the old handsets redundant or throwing them away, the best option is to donate them or recycle.
Many people hold on to their old handsets, only because they are not aware of the recycling options available to them. Some people are concerned about the personal data and private information stored in the old devices. If they are educated in how to remove their data from the old devices, they can resell, recycle or donate them without any hesitation.
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Some advantages of recycling are: you can get cash back from your old mobile phones. Therefore you end up helping poor people in getting a communication device at a lower cost. Today, there is a significant demand of good quality refurbished handsets in developing countries such as Africa, East Europe etc.
You do not pollute the environment with toxic materials by throwing them away in landfills. Materials salvaged from the unusable phones can be re-used or recycled. There are many mobile phone trading platforms in the UK where you can trade or sell your old devices.
Money4myMobile, envirofone are just a couple of platforms that offer cash to recycle your old mobile phones. They refurbish the usable phones and sell them in developing countries. They recover as many components from the unusable phones and the components which are not re-usable are recycled according to WEEE directives.
Users can upload the information about their old phones on these platforms to find out what price they can get. They can send their old mobiles to these companies and receive money.
Some networks also provide recycling options. Vodafone launched the Fonebak scheme to take old phones back.
O2 is also involved in encouraging re-using and recycling of old phones. It makes sure that phones that are not usable are recycled in the UK using safe methods and not end up in overseas landfills. O2 accepts old mobile phones from almost all the major manufacturers irrespective of networks. Sending your device does not cost you a single penny. The company donates the money received from recycling to various charities. Some of the charities are Go Think Big, O2 Learn, youth projects, Child Protection, Access for All etc.
Some environmental groups such as Forum for the Future, Carbon Trust, Global Action Plans help and advice in developing strategies and improving performance to recycle the old mobile phones. The Carbon Trust advises on reducing carbon footprints while recycling. Global Action Plan spreads awareness among consumers about energy use, transport, water waste and shopping.
What Will You Do with Your Old Phone?
Recycling is immensely useful for our coming generations. Phones contain nano-materials that we do not yet understand fully so we have little idea how these will interact with the environment.
This article is contributed by Phil Turner and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,